So you want to move in with the big boys and go for kills from a farther range? Well, that 3-9x standard scope can only get you so far. Sniping from a long distance is a whole different game, so you’ll be needing new equipment.
The best long range rifle scope is going to have to be top-notch in a few categories. If it isn’t pristine, it isn’t worth it. Most shooters are willing to fork out around $3,000 for a good scope.
However if you are on a budget, here is a list of features to look out for will help you in your buying decision.
You should be specifically looking at:
As you can see, there’s a lot to look for when trying to choose the best long range rifle scope. For the most part, it isn’t too different from finding a general scope. The only big differences are the reticle and focal range.
But don’t worry, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 sniper scopes that are fine in terms of the above aspects. All you have to do is compare the features!
To get a quick taste of what we’re looking at, here are a few basic specs for the scopes I’ll be reviewing in the article.
|Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm||Burris XTR II 8-40x50mm||Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 8.5-25x50mm||Nightforce Optics NXS|
|Steiner M5Xi 3-15x50mm|
|Scope length (in)||19.6||19.2||17||14.8||16.6|
|Objective Lens Size (mm)||50||50||50||56||56|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
From $900+ to $3000+, the price range for long range scopes are no joke. You’ll notice that some of the basic specs are similar, optimizing for best performance. There’s also a bit of a difference between specs, allowing room for personal preference.
But enough with the basics. Let’s look beyond them and dive into the features of each individual scope.
Why pay top dollar when you can get everything you need for less? The Vortex Viper provides all of the necessary features and more without hurting your wallet as badly as the other options. Extremely clear images from far distances, made very tough with a single, solid aircraft-grade aluminum, and it’s equipped with an illuminated front focal plane.
The only downside to this amazing scope? There have been reports of some uses that experience a bit of distortion and discoloration when magnifying the lens at a high power. But that doesn’t stop them from rating the scope as one of the best they’ve used. Also, this isn’t necessarily the best scope on market, but giving up a little bit of quality to save a big chunk of cash? It’s well worth the tradeoff!
Click here for reviews of Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm on Amazon
The Burris XTR II is for serious shooters. With its 25% increase in thickness to tube and 5-times zoom, this scope will get you the shot that you need. It’s built with high quality materials and is durable in rough conditions such as heavy recoil and road bumps. In addition to its toughness against direct impact, the XTR II is also waterproof, shockproof and fogproof. It’s loaded with features and adjustment settings, giving you the flexibility to be as accurate as possible.
The front focal plane is intentionally very dim at the lowest magnification to maximize visibility, but this can be a weakness to the scope for some. Also, the parallax has been reported to lose focus when zoomed in over 200 yards. But if you can look past these minor flaws, the XTR II is a nice choice.
Click here for reviews of Burris XTR II 8-40x50mm on Amazon
With the most up-to-date components, the Leupold Mark 4 flaunts its performance and durability. Waterproof, aircraft quality material, great picture, maximum light transmission, etc. You name it, the Leupold Mark 4 has it. Hunters rely on this scope for its toughness and accuracy. Likewise, many professional competitors also vouch loyalty to this scope, and for good reason. Speak to any gunsmith, and they’ll tell you that the Mark 4 is a great companion to have.
Click here for reviews of Leupold Mark 4 LR/T 8.5-25x50mm on Amazon
Claiming to be Nightforce’s most worthy long-range riflescope, the NXS 5.5-22×56 provides the highest possible image through the glass through all magnification ranges it allows (unlike some scopes which lose quality at higher magnification power). The higher magnification range on the NXS helps pinpoint targets from afar, while remaining accurate at a closer range with the 5.5 magnification.
The Nightforce will be the odd man out of the top 5 scopes, as it is the only one whose reticle is located on a second focal plane.
Click here for reviews of Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22x56mm on Amazon
I see, you’re a big spender. If it’s worth it, you’ll be willing to dish out $3000 for a scope? If that’s the case, the Steiner M5Xi 3-15x50mm is the one you want. Built to military standards, this scope is built by experts who have incorporate Steiner’s 65 years of knowledge and expertise into it. With Steiner, you get what you pay for, and $3000 is no chump change.
Click here for reviews of Steiner M5Xi 3-15x50mm on Amazon
Personally, I find the Leupold Mark 4 to give you the best for its price. It isn’t overly costly, though still above the cheaper equipment. Despite not being the highest-priced, it certainly gives you an expensive feel. The scope body is built like a tank, and the interior technology allows for top performance. One look through the scope is sure to put a smile on your face without damaging your wallet as much as the higher-cost scopes.
Leupold is a great brand, and they’re known to give shooters what they want, but the other options are also great alternatives. Whatever your choice is, I’m sure any of the scopes listed above will give you satisfaction in your long-range endeavors.