5 Best Long Range Scopes

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 it's Second Edition.

In this quick article he 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 then 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 then your standard hunting optic. Based on the elements just reviewed above, the long range optic selected for target, hunting, or military applications just can't be embracing any short cuts regarding materials or construction.

Therefor 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 (10/8/2016)$3,249.99$1,599.99$629.99$2028.00$3,799.00
Scope DetailsMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore Info

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.

185 thoughts on “5 Best Long Range Scopes

    1. Theirs nothing wrong with bushnell long as u stay with ther quality the elite & legend line of scopes r some of the best in the world for hunting & shooting optics

  1. Sig makes some really nice optics , and scopes . I bought a 3x9x40 for under 2 bills and it’s is well built, crisp sight pic, and durable, not to mention the second kinda cool look . . 3 to 4 k for a scope is a little obscene for most of us .

      1. @Reach, Sometimes a $200 item is a better use of money than buying the best of the best. Gunrunner’s Sig scope is good enough for now, and in the twenty years that you posit, even the best of the best and most expensive of the most expensive won’t compare well with what the optics companies are going to come out with. For example: I have a Voigtlander. In 1919, it was the best of the best. Now, a hundred dollar scope has better glass and components than what was the “best of the best”. Just saying.

        1. Hey Wild Bill …. Did you ever see or use a Shepard Scope. Can only be ordered from the company and is made for your Rifle and the Ammo you Use. Used mostly by Big Game hunters and as rugged as they come. Average price is around $800 to $900. I
          >>>> Old marine

        2. I can’t find any way to get email to you so trying this way Shepherd Scopes Interesting
          reviews of Shepherd Scopes A lot more on https://shepherdscopes.com/gallery/
          A lot of big game Hunters
          ——————–
          Tim Bowen
          I would like to thank you for an outstanding product. I used your scope in Afghanistan in 2006 and it performed flawlessly. I got into a shoot off with a sniper team, they had a M24 with Leopold scope; I had an M14 with your P1 scope. We were shooting at unknown distances at a smoke canister. The Shepherd Scope allowed me to hit the target first with less rounds fired than the sniper team and about 3 minutes faster. Thank you, Dan, for a superior product.
          ======================
          M.SGT. MARK DELMONT, U.S.A.R., AND DEPUTY SHERIFF:
          “It takes about ten minutes to train a recruit with this system. He is then able to engage and hit targets at staggered ranges from point blank to 1,000 meters instantly. When he looks in the scope in the field his eye goes immediately to the circle that fits his target, he is unaware of the rest. There is no zooming, dialing or math required. It is solider proof…… If you can’t hit with this, you can’t hit with anything.”

          1. @OM, I still have a Shepard on a .22, but the one that was on my .257 Wby did not stand up to the recoil. The windage erector would not hold. Now, I have a Vortex Viper on my .257 Wby.

          2. Know atleast 10 people who thought they would save $$$ and purchased Vortex glass. All had to send them back for repairs & then unloaded them? Good luck with that!

          3. Bulls***. 10 people you know personally with failed Vortex scopes? Pure fabrication. I’m calling you a liar.

    1. I have shot deer wit Simmons Tasso bushnell and Nikon rifle scopes and at the time they all got the job done can u believe that eek a tasco but really have shot many with a tasco rifle scope and iron sights to

    1. @Reach, Unless one makes and polishes the glass , one is not going to be an expert on the optics. I know that I am not an expert. I have looked through scopes from Voigtlander to Huskemaw, but the best that I can say is that I prefer one model and brand of scope for one purpose over some other brand and model of scope for that same purpose. For some other purpose perhaps some other model and brand.
      One thing that I do not like is paying a lot for name. When I really can tell the difference, I don’t mind paying S&B prices. For the most part, I am not good enough to tell the difference between my Huskemaw and my S&B.

    2. I’m not an expert on anything except being a good dad to my kids great husband to my wife and saving money doing wut I enjoy and spending great big money to shoot a deer is not wut I do but I rarely miss

      1. @GO Heck, that is a lot, brother! Sounds like you have a complete education in the things that are important!

        1. I know the bushnelllegend 3-9-50 isn’t ur typical long range shooting scope but for deer hunting it’s a excellent rifle scope I love mine even thrones now made in China isn’t so bad anyone out ther agree

    3. Rarely miss with prostaff5 2.5-10-50 and have never missed with my bushnell legend hd 3-9-50 yes it really is that good

    4. I do have a sweet16 wit ventilated rib and gold trigger made I Belgium shot my first several deer with it and it’s still great shape to be nearly 70yrs old my grandad gave me wen I was only 12yrs old dozens of deer rabitts squirrel and hundreds of dove and quail it still a great gun nothing wrong with anything browning does

    1. For deer hunting purposes I will not spend that kinda money on equipment wen I can much cheaper that works

    2. For deer hunting purposes I will not spend that kinda money on equipment wen I can much cheaper that works to many scopes out ther that will do the pretty well without breaking the bank if u don’t hunt with ur gun my post shouldn’t mean anything to u because that’s wut we do

    3. I hope to never bet my life on anything again. But when I was betting my life the AN/PRC 77 or 47 was my go to weapon! Oh, and let be known that the AN/PRC systems were made by the low bidder.

          1. @LP, You had to have been there fighting beside us upon St Crispin’s day. But you were probably the one taking the nap… in your romper stompers.

      1. And many times were out of range? The article is about scopes for shooting long range, not scopes for hunting deer or radios? Stay on topic?

          1. Well the answer to that question would lead us off topic, wouldn’t it. What are you trying to insult enlisted men.
            Sierra 7 Bravo 06, out.

  2. Lol for deer hunting purposes I don’t need nor will I ever spend that kinda money on a set up to put deer in the freeze again 3-9-50 bushnell legend ultra hd the legend lives on

      1. Your not making a lot of sense I’m standing strong on the 3-9-50 bushnell legend for what I do with it it’s great deer hunting perfect scope

      2. This thread is starting to sound like Dustin Hofman in Rainman.
        But instead of “Tuesday”, its “Buuuuushnell……definitely buuuuushnell”

        1. Rite on bushnell is high quality optics for deer hunting purposes they have some junk but they also have some of the best rifle scopes known to man

    1. @GO, I think that you are on to something. If I took my Huskemaw to the field to go hunting, and fell out of the tree stand, and destroyed it. I would be very upset. The Bushnell 3X9 by 50 is perfect for a deer hunt, and if I fell out of the tree stand and destroyed it. I would only be a little upset. Does Bushnell’s warranty cover destruction by gravity fed outdoorsmen?

          1. Just a joke. Gravity fed like a hopper with lots of hunters falling out. Can’t let things get too serious around here!

          2. Wild bill are a shooter r a hunter me and my family are hunters so we don’t have and if we did I Wundt spend that kind of money only to shoot a deer wut we have is plenty good enuff for putting meat in the freezer I like my bushnell but I also like our nikons also but the legend seems to be better if all

        1. Say it again I don’t quite understand what I’m supposed to understand. Lol maybe I missed something

      1. Hunted all my life and most of that with rifle and scope and I’ve never fallen out a deer stand let my rifle fall some ppl just like that I guess and thru my young like and alcohol was involved I still never dropped my rifle again some ppl LOL

  3. I’d like to see a article for regular people. You know, not rich. Say scopes under $500 or so that will do the job.
    Most of the people who are reading your article do not have the means to buy the best, most expensive scope on the market so get real. Unless you’re targeting the article for the one percent.

    1. Absolutely my kinda person I’m as simple as u can get don’t have the best but don’t have trash but what I have gets the job done my oldest killed biggest buck in the club last year 207lbs 9pt wit a spread of 14″ tall and 221/2″ wide at 14 yrs old job well done

        1. @Reach, why don’t you just tell him the things that he can look for, at the store, in a good scope other than name, and price tag? If you look down on someone for their taste in wine, cars, or rifle scopes, then you have an obligation to improve them or admit that you something that you don’t want to be.

    2. Naa I’m just trying to say to hunt accurately and affordability the bushnell 3-9-50 legend is a great scope for the task

    3. Go look at the Vortex scopes. They make a good value/quality scope that can meet just about anyone’s needs. This article addresses long range shooting whether it is for hunting or just shooting long range targets for fun. In truth, long range shooting, the competition is against yourself to get everything right. Finding a good scope that you can afford helps you get there. Not everyone has the cash flow or extra dollars left over at the end of the month to play with their hobbies.

      1. @Don B, I have a Vortex on my .257 Wby. Shot a coyote that stopped too long at the edge of the meadow , last winter. It was about 480 yards. It is on my fireplace mantle now. I’ve never had any real world problems with Vortex.

  4. Lordy, this really has generated some serious debate. If nothing else, great job on pushing some buttons! Let me just say that for years I couldn’t afford $2000.00 scopes, nor a $5000.00 to mount it on. I learned through trial and error what works and what doesn’t. If you have a rifle and scope that combined are under $1000.00 and you can consistently hit your target at whatever range you are shooting, then you have exactly what you need and another $500.00 or $10,000.00 is a waste of money, but it will give you something to brag about and embarrass folks who don’t have that kind of money to throw away.

      1. I’m a deer hunter only but I can & do hit what I’m shooting at I don’t need to spend big money on a set up for deer they aren’t that hard of an animal to kill

          1. @ROT&WB Yes it can but there again you don’t need the high priced spread. There are some pretty nifty crossbows out now , they are shooting 3&400 feet per second now and very accurate.

    1. @Joe Martin, I, for one, would like to read some of your trial and error successes! So many articles are just sales pitches, now-a-days. My latest success is a National Ordinance M-1 carbine with a 1965 Bosch & Lomb 2.5 to 9x that has no internal elevation or windage controls. I got a Chinese made base (yeah, I know, my apologies); windage adjustable rings (made in America from American steel), and a smidge of shim from Midway. As you know, Nat. Ord. bought a bunch of parts from the federal Govt surplus and put them all together, a number of years ago. Well, they did a good job. The project is only .30 ca., but it is a hoot to shoot and fairly accurate out to 150 yards.

    2. Ditto sir that’s exactly what I’m trying to say I’ve got a browning 3006 safari & a ruger American 308 and I can kill what I shoot at wit either deer hunting is what I do not just shoot bullets to put wear on a rifle not condemning ones that do shoot a lot but I just don’t I reallly don’t need to for my purpose of even pulling my guns from the safe

    1. I was shocked to see the other four scopes even mentioned with the SB as they don’t even come close?

      1. What happened to US Optics, Swarovski & Zeiss? Appears the article is attempting to drag some low end scopes up to SB level?

          1. Just bragging on my oldest son at 14 and he has accomplished KARATA trophies out the ting yang already a Blk belt in KARATA and defend his self in judo pretty well at 14 or 41 I’m very proud of him

          2. Just bragging on my oldest son at 14 and he has accomplished KARATA trophies out the ting yang already a Blk belt in KARATA and defend his self in judo pretty well at 14 or 41 I’m very proud of him he is that good

        1. @Georgia O, I hear you saying that you are proud of you son. That is terrific and although not rare on this site that state of being proud of one’s son is rare in the modern borrowed world.

          1. Very proud and he is Blk belt in thomson ga KARATA also his sensa say he the best he’s got he goes to tournaments and kills it they don’t all do that thanks again

          2. Very proud and he is Blk belt in thomson ga KARATA also his sensa say he the best he’s got he goes to tournaments and kills it they don’t all do that thanks again sir

        2. Not just a proud dad of son that shot his first deer at 9 yrs old dropped a doe dead in her tracks with a 243 now in 9th grade joining the rotc at his high skool Blk belt in KARATA and we love to deer hunt not just shoot bullets to make noise

      2. I understand just don’t have to spend a lot of $ to get the job done 3-9-50 bushnell legend ultra hd affordable and very dependable as good leupold for many less dollars

      3. I understand just don’t have to spend a lot of $ to get the job done 3-9-50 bushnell legend ultra hd affordable and very dependable as good leupold for many less dollars just don’t understand why anyone would spend $ like that for simple deer hunting needs

  5. If u deer hunt shoot an occasional pig r 2 the bushnell 3-9-50 ultra hd rifle scope will sure fit ur needs like I said don’t waste Bullets for fun I deer hunt wit them wife & 2 growing boys can’t afford to waste much just saying if ur the same get ur self one of them damn legends u won’t be disappointed at all just remember the georgiaoutlaw told ya so

      1. Ya these have been around for decades and still sought out today! Lyman All American Perma Center and Weaver T’s.

    1. My legend was made in the phillipines before bushnell moved the legend to china thanks for ur feed back I don’t care much for it

  6. I’m a deer hunter can’t eat them pot targets to hard to cook them for me the 3-9-50 does all I need it to do knock deer dead with 1 shot 308 the legend lives on

      1. Kiss M A I’m a hunter not a bullet waster can’t eat a paper metal or cardboard targets I’m just passing info for the deer hunters out there that mite be interested thank u kind sir

      2. And my bushnell was made yrs ago in the phillipines kind sir not in China like ther made today but under strict American supervisors so they mite not be so bad

        1. My now 15 but at the time he shot biggest buck at the club monster nine or nice tall wide heavy buck several of us been hunting that deer for a few yrs but never could get him in the sights but my son nailed him one shot behind the shoulder with his 308

  7. For 300yards or less with deadly precision the bushnell legend ultra hd 3-9-50 rifle scope for the money and bullet proof warranty the legend lives on will never disappoint get one u gonna love it

      1. Lol WRONG the bushnell legend ultra hd rifle scope is a great scope for deer hunting 3-9-50 great glass for hunting needs

  8. I really like the Vortex they included in this list.
    Have one and it works for ringing steel at longer ranges.

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned the Bushnell 3×9?
    “Best scope ever” so I’ve heard……

  9. The bushnell ultra hd 3-9-50 isn’t a 1000 yard scope but with practice it would prolly do tha job the mentioned legend rifle scope is superior to Nikon prostaffs that we have 3-9-50 bushnell ultra hd legend is a great scope for hunting deer & pigs I’m just a simple deer hunter that been deer hunting all my life for the quality and money spent u can’t go wrong with the bushnell legend 3-9-50 get one remember my post will not disappoint

      1. I’m a deer hunter with 2 growing boys that do the same I’m not interested in mucho money on rifle scope & bullets just saying that for the money the bushnell legend ultra hd 3-9-50 will do all u need it to do come from and am one a simple family of deer hunters

      2. For deer hunting the legend 3-9-50 is sure to do all u need without spending lots of $ it sure does all I’ll ever need it to do and nope I don’t work or even know anyone that does work for bushnell just passing on very good info for deer hunters like me out their try one it’ll surprise u for sure

  10. Missed some really good ones. Tangent Theta, Burris XTR II and Athlon Cronus. And LR scopes are not 3×9’s, most are ranging reticle and First Focal Plane. You won’t get that very cheap.

  11. I don’t care I’m staying with the bushnell 3-9-50 legend ultra hd rifle scope got same guantee as leupold cost lot less check them out & get one

  12. I have scope x 36 fixed and x20 fixed all Japanese and under $ 300. I’m willing to compete with your best shooter with those $ 2000-4000 scope. I can 50 shots in a hole in 300 yard … how many they want to 1000 yard and they are not competent in 100 yard
    Manny

        1. @manny, Thank you for your service to the nation, and what are these x36 fixed and x20 fixed scopes that you are writing about?

  13. Just a thought wondering why I don’t hear much about the accuracy and dependability of the bushnell bushnell ultra hd 3-9-50 rifle scope it is a very good optic for ur hunting situations and it’s extremely accurate to check them out get one u will love it

  14. Bushnell legend 3-9-50 for the money better than leupold got same warranty if something does ever go wrong get one u will love it for sure

  15. Why am I only one sending in comments on how great the bushnell legend ultrahd rifle scope is I will never need another it will & does all I will ever need it to do BUSHNELL LEGEND ULTRA HD 3-9-50 try one u will love it and easy on the wallet also just another great benefit of Bushnell’s legend go to your nearest gun shop try one take it home mount on your gun of choice you will love it for sure

      1. I compared my legend with a leupold 3-9-50 at accademy sports honestly the legend was more clear and less dollar spent for real deer hunting I’ll stick wit the bushnell legend ultra hd 3-9-50 they are fantastic rifle scope for hunting needs

          1. @RO&T, I think that he is saying that Bushnell and Leupold were at Academy when he was shopping, so he compared them.

          2. No I’m saying that the bushnell legend hd 3-9-50 is a great rifle scope for all my deer hunting needs not the best but damn sure not the worst for deer hunting the legend is a superb rifle scope with bushnell bullet proof guarantee it just under their elite rifle scopes and all I need for my hunting needs

          3. Depending on type of scope ur looking at yes leupold is high end hunting optic I don’t have one but many friends of mine do

      2. Legend is better than Nikon prostaff5 2.5-10-50 I even compared it to 3-9-50 leupold at accademy sports and the legend had clearer glass than the leupold for lot less money u can deer hunt with confidence and get that buck of a life time

      3. Yes I have compared my legend to a leupold and the legend was better have 3 nikons and the best of them is a 2.5-10-50 prostaff5 and again the legend has better glass

  16. Great affordable rifle scope is the by far the bushnell legend hd 3-9-50 rifle scope knocksem dead every shot can’t go wrong with the only legend that matters get one u will agree

  17. Vortex Leupold Nikon smit & bender all over priced get a bushnell legendhd ultra 3-9-50 you will not need another rifle scope

  18. vortex, no matter the price, is a barska/simmons quality & they all have the same warranty except vortex guarantees you will need their warranty, that’s why they’re priced so high.

    1. That’s ridiculous. Vortex earned it’s place among high quality optics faster than most other companies because they offer high quality optics without the normal high prices. The only companies that offer such fantastic warranties are the ones who know they aren’t going to be getting a lot of products back. You’ll never see crappy products with a warranty like Vortex simply because they would go out of business.

      I own and use several optics from Vortex as well as those from Nikon, Bushnell and Leupold and the Vortex optics are excellent performers. I’ve never had a single issue with any Vortex and the glass is top notch. It would be nice to afford a stable full of rifles sporting Nightforce and Schmitt&Bender scopes at $4-10+ grand a piece but that’s not realistic for most folks. Fortunately there are very good scopes available from manufacturers like Vortex for the rest of us.

      1. @BBear, Yeah, I have a Vortex Viper on my .257 Whby Mark V. Accuracy and survivability, combined with a really hard hitter. What it does to coyotes out to about 600 yards, just … words fail me. There is no need to go out and pick them up.

  19. Georgiaoutlaw says we’re is the bushnell legend 3-9-50 best scope one will need for a hunting situation the legend is best in affordability looks & durability what more could u need BUSHNELL LEGEND HD best thier is get one u will see

  20. Of all the fine rifle scopes mention just wondering why I didn’t see the first bushnell legend the 3-9-50 is fie a rifle scope that one would need for shooting deer & pigs why thier not mentioned as top scopes just a thought I got one it’s better than all the nikons I have on other rifles

  21. Id like to see a rundown of the top 5 long range scopes that the average person can afford. I for one could never spend this kind of money on an optic.
    I also think that the small incemental increase in quality over scopes on the 1k-2k range could not justify the tremendous price difference.
    Bushnells new DMR2 is a damn nice scope, and at 1600.00 it vould possibly do everything I could possibly ever need to do.

    1. Save dollars on ur deer & pig rig get yourself a bushnell legendhd 3-9-50 will do all that u need to do in the field & woods bushnell legend great affordable accurate fog proof water resistant u will never need another said by the only georgiaoutlaw been hunting deer all my life best scope one will ever need on anything from 308 & up smaller would be waste of great glass on rifle that not need great glass in a hunting situation

  22. Surprised Swaroski wasn’t mentioned. Had a 6-24X and it did as well as my Nightforce 12x42X on clarity and quality.

  23. Ol d Pilot

    Great article. I took up long range precision shooting when my eyes got too bad to fly. Needless to say, I have a need for a very good scope and have experience with the Nightforce and Schmidt and Bender. Both will support reliable hits at 2,000 yard targets. And both will enable 3/8″ 3-shot groups at 200 yards. For that level of precision only the finest glass will do.

    Old Pilot

  24. So in the end what would your rating sequence look like? I ask as someone getting ready to purchase a long range scope for a Ruger Precision project. Would appreciate your response. Looking at the Steiner-Nightforce & S&B
    Thank you-Great article

  25. I’m looking for an M1500 sniper rifle and from what I understand you’re supposed to be the greatest thing out there I am I belong to front sight and they say that they have them for sale right now we could price tag is like $25,000 can you please give me some insight on this as to is there a comparable model or is this really the cost of this type of gun thank you

  26. I’m just learning MOA and trying to decide on a scope for my 338 lapua mag and 223. I’m looking at vortex vipers pst FFP 6x24x50F1 but running $949. I’m on disability and really cant afford this ammount but I’m looking for this quality.
    Anyone have any suggestions. Also, anybody have any moa charts with 223 sighted in at 100 yards using 55 grain bullets and 338 sighted in at 300 yards. Any help would be appreciated, I try to find info on utube but only find so much.

  27. For years I hunted deer with a Winchester 94 30-30. It’s a very old rifle with top eject and could never get a side mount scope to hold zero. Taken a lot of deer with it open sights.

  28. Old marine:
    All good scopes but prices are out of line with the real world. There are other scopes just as good if not better at less than one third the price of these. Some scope manufactures have realized that a good scope doesn’t have to take a months wages to have on your weapon. there is even iron sights that will shoot the same distance, true it takes a lot more skill but the past has produced such shooters. Some of the manufactures even produce cheap scopes that can get the same results. In the 1950’s I was shooting a 1000 wars with iron sights and competed in USMC at 600 yards with iron sights. shooting entails more than just looking for the target thru a scope but a scope can really help especially if your eyesight isn’t what it used to be. If you use a scope I would recommend that you first become proficient with iron sights at 500-600 yds first. It will make you rely less on the best scope you can buy.
    >>> Old Marine

  29. Some serious misses for the criteria being the “Best”. Didn’t even get the best Vortex, Leupold, or Nightforce in the list. Sorry but some more research is needed by the author.

  30. I just bought a Ruger Precision Rifle in .308. Could someone give me some good choices for outfitting, scope, mounts, bipods, etc.? Thanks

    1. Bushnell legend 3-9-50 for the money better than leupold got same warranty if something does ever go wrong get one u will love it for sure

      1. @GO been into the white lightening today, wife and kids gone? Not to one up you or anything but, 50 year ago I bought a shiney new .243 mauser rifle. On it an old friend (rip) mounted an American made scope 3x9x38 BDC. the only adjustment I have ever made is elevation. I shouldn’t tell this but I have a witnessed whitetail one shot kill at 420 yds . I was braced across the hood of my truck. The scope not a legend. It is a Bushnell Banner I bought at Bass Pro for $ 66.93. Back then they were apparently made in Miami Fla.

  31. I grew up and started hunting in the late 60’s . Very few people used scopes unless they had eye problems. It was not uncommon in west Texas for people to shoot deer at 400 yards with iron sights. People with training ,military, shot out to 600 regularly so a 5 power would be fine in there hands at 1000. You just have to now how to shoot and practice a lot.

  32. Actually one can shoot one can hit (larger target so it can be registered on in the scope) with a 4x at 1,000 yards-not consistently though. But I get a kick out of all the big bucks stuff for “long range shooting” so popular in magazines currently. Then these over cost guns and their incredibly under practiced shooters on a KD range with all the wind and mirage training that takes think the gun will carry then through when shooting at soda cans at 1,000 yards (which we do), but we practice and learn and have fired on KD ranges with careful notes on mirage, wind and even sun and that too is why our highly trained snipers do this stuff where Joe six pack with his $6,000 rifle and big bucks scope can’t. But dreaming is fun too.

    1. Other than bragging rights, and having more money than common sense, is there really a point to shooting at 1000+ yards? I don’t think you’re going to bring down a white-tail at that distance (usually too many trees in the way), and no one hunts buffalo anymore. I shoot regularly at 400-500 yards, with a view to feeding my family, and possibly fending off the bad guys, should it come to that. However, unless it comes down to combat in the streets (and the woods, where I live), I don’t see a practical purpose to shooing at those ranges. Just my two cents worth. YMMV

      1. Errors in fundamentals are magnified exponentially at long ranges, ie: flinching, breathing, trigger control, etc., and these show on the target.
        Many archers practice at long ranges as well to make their 40 yard shots on game become chip shots.

    1. @kcshooter, thanks for the heads on that it has been corrected, for the record that was an Editor mistake, not L.P. he had his info right in the original. ~ AmmoLand

  33. These are all fine scopes, and you cover them well. But I’m really surprised that you make no mention of their fixed-magnification counterparts. Admittedly, there seem to be fewer and fewer of these available, but it remains true that a fine fixed-mag scope will have better optical quality; will be more durable and less prone to intrusion of water, dirt, etc.; and will be lighter than a variable-mag scope.

  34. Great article. I wrote a similar article a while back that included the US Optics LR-17. Are all of these optics FFP with zero stops? I know the answer on some but admittedly will have to look up a couple that I have spent range time with. That said, 6x is about my minimum magnification at 600 yards; I prefer more. At 1,000, I like at least 12, if not 15. With the US Optics LR-17, I topped it out at 17 for 900 yard shots, with my final 3-shot group holding at sub-3″ firing my McRees Precision BR10, chambered in .308 Win. I really like Steiner and perhaps its the disease in my eyes but I’d have a heck of a time hitting 1,000+ yards at 5x. That’s quite commendable. With Steiner I’d probably go with the T5Xi 5-25×56 with MRad and FFP. http://www.steiner-optics.com/riflescopes/t-series/t5xi-5-25×56. I’d also take a hard look at Trijicon’s new TARS 3-15×50 (TARS103) with Mil-square reticle, as well as the Leupold Mark VI and the Vortex Razor HD Gen II. Of course, that Burris XTR II 5-25x50mm looks good and the Burris Eliminator III 4-16×50 looks fun. Absolutely loved your S&B and Nightforce picks. Thanks for an engaging read, L.P.

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