People love shooting at things! It’s just a fun thing to do, as long as you’re not hurting anyone.
Whether you fancy shooting watermelons and glass bottles in your backyard, or you love going off on a hunting adventure with your best buds, shooting is just thrilling and enjoyable.
However, if you really want to go out on a long-range hunting trip, a rifle won’t just cut it.
You will obviously require the best long range hunting scope that will suit your purpose in every possible way. This article will help you find your closest friend second to your beloved rifle!
7 Best Long Range Hunting Scope
Athlon Optics Argos BTR 6-24 × 50 Riflescope
If you are in the market for a long range hunting scope which has a lot of value packed into it, then look no further Athlon Optics Argos BTR 6-24 × 50 has you covered.
This scope comes with variable magnification which ranges from a power of 6 to all the way up to 24.
This long distance scope also has 10 yards to infinity parallax adjustment.
It can be used for targets at a distance starting from a 15 to all the way up to 1000 yards.
The First Focal Plane reticle stays valid at any power setting giving you a quick visual reference for targets at a short range, and greater details for long range targets.
It comes with two types of reticles, which come in both mil and MOA. The illuminated reticles are also available in both mil and MOA. On top of all this, it is also a very affordable long range scope.
Nikon P-308 4-12×40 Rifles Scope
Nikon is a popular brand that makes some of the best lenses in the world, and their P-308 4-12×40 Rifles Scope does live up to the expectation.
This long-range scope is specifically designed for .308 cartridges and features a BDC-800 reticle.
The tube diameter of the long distance scope is around 1 inch, and it offers variable magnification of 4×12 which is good for long-range shooting.
It comes with spring-loaded Instant Zero-Reset turrets, which can be set back to zero with ease. It is positioned at a medium height, and no additional tool is required to turn them.
The fast-focus eyepiece can be easily dialed to adjust the crispness of the image. The lens is multi-coated which offers 95% light transmission and clearer images.
It has a second focal plane scope, and it has been optimized to utilize the Spot on Ballistic Match Technology, which is an app that helps find precise aiming point on any BDC reticle regardless of load used at a particular range. It is one of the best long range scopes for the money.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective Rifle Scope
Vortex Optics is another well-known optics company, and they make some really high-end products. Their Crossfire II line of products is one of the best long range scopes on a budget and comes with some amazing features.
It comes with nitrogen purged hard anodized single-piece aircraft grade aluminum tube of 30mm diameter.
The chassis of the rifle scope is O-ring sealed, making it perfect for different weather conditions.
Moreover, the lens it comes with is multi-coated with multiple anti-reflective coating which increases light transmission making images look clearer.
It has a second focal plane reticle, which means the reticle will stay the same size, even when you zoom in or out.
Vortex also provides a VIP lifetime warranty for the product, which is transferable. The second focal plane also has Vortex’s signature Dead-hold BDC which has a customized hashmark design which aids in windage correction during use and reduces guesswork on holdover.
Leupold VX-3i 3.5- 10×50mm Duplex Reticle Rifle Scope
Leupold VX-3i is a beautifully designed long range hunting scope which offers a lot of features to gun enthusiasts.
It is perfect for any hunting situation due to its versatile magnification ranges.
One of the unique features that make it stand out from its previous iteration is the redesigned power selector.
The new power selector can be turned easily and can be used with gloves hassle-free.
It also makes use of innovative technology such as the Twilight Max Light Management System which maximizes light transmission in all colors and maintains excellent low-light performance and contrast.
The lenses of the long distance scope are edge-blackened which helps improve resolution and contrast by decreasing diffusion and glare.
The long range scope is designed to resist thermal shock by making use of second-generation Argon gas. Match grade repeatability and strength is ensured in the scope by utilizing a dual-spring precision adjustment system.
Moreover, the long range hunting scope is incredibly durable and scratch resistant due to DiamondCoat 2 external lens coating. It ships with a water-resistant nylon-laminated neoprene cover, which provides protection from dirt and damage.
Nikon P-223 Riflescope – The Instant Action Turret System!
Nikon P-233 is a good responding riflescope that comes with a strong 4-12×40 configuration.
The scope uses polymer and aluminum as the main element for manufacturing. And so it provides great durability and resistance in a tough situation.
The BDC 600 reticles are good enough to perform in open circle shooting games.
It provides decent accuracy from a hundred to six-hundred-yard ranges. No matter how harsh the marks are, you would get a decent aim visual with this rifle scope.
At hundred yard shooting, you can use the quarter inch adjustments to get quick modification while shooting. It’s very fast responding and also known as rapid action turrets for that reason.
The optics have multiple coating to ensure there is enough brightness for any situation. Also, the light transmission rates are good enough.
The zero turrets are instant and use spring for easy adjustments every time. With 4x to 12x magnification, you would be able to aim most of the time accurately. Spot on Ballistic technology is another plus that this rifle scope provides.
Vortex Optics Viper PST First Focal Plane Riflescopes
Vortex Optics is known to have quite an extensive range of riflescopes, and the Viper PST First Focal Plane Riflescope is one of the higher-end long range hunting scopes they sell.
It has some really excellent long range scope reviews under its belt.
This scope in particular suits professional users rather than beginners. It carries an XD glass which is XR coated, making it sharper and clearer.
Compared to a lot of other long distance scopes, they represent different colors better and have a very good light transmission. On top of that, the glass is designed in a way so that reflection is prevented.
It has a first focal plane illuminated reticle and can come it two variants: MRAD or MOA. Due to FFP reticle, no matter what power the magnification is set at, the reticle of the cope will remain fixed.
The turrets of the long-range scope have a pleasant clicking feel to them when rotated and are tactically styled.
The knurling works smoothly and is easy to adjust, and can be used with gloves or wet hands. Other than that, the scope itself is Nitrogen-purged and sealed, making it water and fog proof.
Nikon Buckmaster II 3-9×40mm BDC 1inch Riflescope
Nikon Buckmasters II is one of the best long range hunting scope out there and really packs a punch with all it has to offer.
Nikon and Buckmaster collaborated to make this long range scope, and they did a wonderful job.
For starters, it is a very versatile scope and is also very durable. It can withstand both wet and dry conditions.
The optics on it are multi-coated for excellent light transmission to make images of objects clearer and enhance color accuracy.
It comes with a BDC reticle, and it is also Nitrogen purged to keep moisture from seeping in. There is ¼ MOA that helps you adjust for wind and elevation, and eye relief is also present.
A quick focus feature is also present in the long distance scope that allows you to lock on to targets swiftly and with ease.
Spot On smartphone application can be used with this scope which provides the users a guide of specific aiming points at a specified range.
What to look for when buying a long range hunting scope? (Buyers Guide)
About Long Range Hunting Scope
Since we lack superhuman sight, we cannot go off on a hunting trip without a long distance scope. It would just be a very silly thing to do! Regardless of whether you are a beginner in this sport, or years of experience has turned you into somewhat of a local legend when it comes to hunting, you will definitely require a good long range scope.
A long distance scope has many features to offer that may actually ease your entire hunting experience. First of all, its primary purpose is to magnify your targets from a distance, so that you can take a precise shot at it. It might sound simple enough, but in reality, it is not, because a lot of minute adjustments need to be made to make your scope and rifle work in a synchronized manner.
Secondly, magnification comes in two forms. The first is fixed magnification, while the second is variable magnification. If you are a beginner, you would be better off with a fixed magnification scope cos it’s easier to use.
However, if you are an expert marksman, you would, of course, need something more high-end. You would be able to make the right calculations and adjustment to land that perfect shot on your target. This would not be possible without a good long range scope that best suits you.
It does not matter if you are a beginner or a professional, if you have an itch for hunting and you are really passionate about it, you should go out and grab the best long range scope for hunting out there waiting for you.
Buying a long range hunting scope, regardless of whether you are a beginner or an expert gun user, is no easy job. A lot of factors come into play.
In order to pick the best hunting scope that suits our purpose, we must look into a few factors. The following factors must be considered when it comes to determining the right rifle scope:
Accurately hitting a target is one of the first things that comes to our minds when using a long range rifle. This is where magnification comes to play. We use scopes to magnify out targets before shooting at them so that we can hit the target as accurately as humanly possible.
There is a common misconception that most beginners have, and it has to do with the age-old rookie concept of more means better. No! More magnification power does not necessarily make a scope better and more accurate. This is because all scopes have limits. For example, if a target is 1000 yards away, a 4X scope wouldn’t make much of a difference.
However, the same scope would be perfect for targets which are only a 100 yards away. High magnification is generally suited to open areas, while for forests where trees get in the way more often, scopes with low magnification are better.
Cost of long-range scope can also increase with higher magnification power, and so does the weight of the long-range scope itself, as the larger objective lens is required for better magnification.
Long range scopes with higher magnification power, generally between 10 and 40, tend to be less versatile than the ones with lower magnification power. This would usually not make too much of a difference when it comes to bench-shooting, but hunting may require more versatility.
One must also consider the size of the target they will hunt as well as range, before choosing a scope based on magnification power. For smaller targets, higher magnification power is generally required to maximize precision and details of the target.
The Lens is also of importance because the magnification offered by your long distance scope would directly depend on the quality of your lens. Gun users often want to read the wind at their target.
Normal indicators such as flags or trees blowing in a particular direction may seem like a good indicator, but often times they may need to even take notice of details such as movement of dust and grass. Only a good lens can capture and display such details, which may never be possible with our bare eyes.
There are 2 lenses in a long range scope: the ocular lens and the objective lens. The purpose of the lens is not just to bring a distant object into focus, but also create a clear image on the scope by maximizing light transmission and reducing the amount of reflected light.
A light transmission of 90% and above is usually seen in high-end long range hunting scopes. Unlike smaller lenses, large objective lenses also tend to capture more light.
However, there may be diminishing returns to light transmission through the lens with larger objective lenses. For example, a lens with 40mm diameter could catch the light better than a lens with 32mm diameter.
However, for a lens with 56mm diameter, the amount of light transmitted may actually decrease. Moreover, the larger the size of the lens, the more the weight of the scope, which is never a good thing. Bigger lenses also require extended bases.
The ocular lens on the other end of the long distance scope, more generally known as the eyepiece, is often known for causing bad injuries to gun users from recoil. Eye relief usually refers to the distance between the user and the ocular lens that allows the user to obtain the full field of view.
The formation of the lens can often determine visual quality for long range hunting scopes. This is why many manufacturers add different types of coatings to the lens to increase the effectiveness of light transmission and make them clearer.
Similar to standard windage and elevation turrets, target turrets perform the same function with the added benefit of being small, staying clear of any form of obstruction, capable of making large adjustments, and is marked so that the long distance scope can be easily adjusted.
Adjusting for wind and elevation becomes infinitely times simpler and swifter, and once it is adjusted, you would not be required to adjust for wind anymore. However, you must know the exact range and wind speed to make precise adjustments for shooting a particular target.
Experienced long-range shooter tries to make appropriate range and wind calculation in order to adjust the target turret accordingly so that they can get calm and precise shot of their targets.
Moreover, target turrets also allow you to go back to zero range for another shot under different circumstances. It is better to avoid getting long range scopes with turrets that are too large in size because they can snag on your kit.
Being able to adjust you turret swiftly is very important for both beginner and expert gun enthusiasts, and it is believed that long-range shooting is quite demanding in terms of elevation adjustments.
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a scope is the type of reticle the scope utilizes, especially when it comes to long-range shooting. You can purchase long distance scopes with different types of specialty reticles in the market, but most reticles can be generalized into two categories: with hash marks or single dots, which can either be spread vertically or horizontally.
The measurements on the reticles can either be on MIL or MOA. One of the most important things to look into is whether the measurements are separated evenly or not. Now, using the reticle, whether its dots or hash marks, should not be too complicated. However, to be a professional, there’s a bit of a learning curve to it.
Both types of reticles maintain smooth holdover regardless of changes in windage or elevation. Another special type of reticle that can now be found in both budget and high-end scopes is BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) Reticle.
However, most believe that the BDC reticle is better suited to medium range shooting, rather than long-range shooting. Other than that BDC typically limits a gun user to using one specific load and cartridge, is not suited for targets at a distance beyond 800 yards.
Moreover, they often are not good for windage holdovers. Sometimes, reticles may give the user both MIL and MOA measurements as options to switch between. In those cases, you should adjust the turrets to whichever measurement you hope to use for your purpose.
BDC reticles are good for making a rifle versatile, rather than making them suitable for long range shooting. For hunting in a low-light condition such as deeply forested areas, then you could go for an illuminated reticle.
There is a wide range of options for long distance scopes with illuminated reticles in the market to choose from, and they come in different combinations of colors. They are designed in a way so that the cross-hair of the reticle is visible in the dark.
However, if you believe an illuminated reticle would suit your needs best, it’s better to go for a high-end scope that has such a feature. This is because, higher-end models allow for adjustment of the brightness of reticles, which is important because cheaper alternatives can hinder your view of the target rather than making it look clearer.
Typically there are two types of focal plane: first focal plane and second focal plane. Reticles usually change size as you increase or decrease the power of magnification in front focal planes. On the contrary, second focal plane optics usually maintain a constant reticle size.
In front focal plane scopes, the dots or hash marks always remain unchanged, i.e. 1 MIL or 1 MOA apart. However, on the second focal plane optics, a particular zoom setting has to be chosen for dots or hash marks to remain accurate.
This may not seem like a very important factor to look into when you’re in the market for a long range hunting scope, but trust me, it is. Just as we want our firearms to be strong and sturdy, it is important for our scopes to be strong, sturdy and rigid as well.
High-quality materials should be utilized in high-end long range scopes, in order to make them durable. One of the durable material commonly used in long-range scopes is aircraft grade aluminum. This material makes the scope body sturdy, as well as giving it a premium feel.
A single piece design for long distance scope body is preferred by most gun enthusiasts, over designs with multiple fragments. The actual scope tube should be made from single-piece aluminum in the higher-end models. The overall durability of the scope, as well as precision, can be enhanced this way.
The single-piece design is commonly found in most high-end devices. Other than that, in the higher-end models, the tube diameter is typically around 30mm.
Normal tubes have a tube diameter of around 26mm (1 inch), but the additional 4 mm can help with making the tube more robust, although it doesn’t help with performance in long-range shooting. Larger internal lenses can also be fit in tubes with a greater diameter, which is always a good thing in terms of increasing light transmission to make images clearer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q.1: What does the number on the long distance scope indicate?
A: The number on the long distance scope, that is often punched in boldly, refers to the magnification power of the scope. For example, a magnification power of 4X-32 refers to 4 times the larger than what we can see with our bare eyes, and the 32 refers to the diameter of the objective lens on the front of the long distance scope in millimeters.
We can obtain a clearer and detailed image with larger objective lenses, due to higher light transmission on those lenses. Some long range scopes also may have variable magnification and they are indicated with a number such as 3-9X40, indicating the power lies between 3X normal and 9X normal.
Q.2: What does the field of view mean in a long range scope?
A: In a long range scope with variable magnification, as you adjust up the scale, the field of view tends to reduce. Field of View (FOV) refers to the wideness of an image, we observe when looking into a scope through the eyepiece. Generally, the width is measured in feet, and at a distance of 100 yards.
Therefore, whenever you attempt to zoom into an image, i.e. increase magnification, the FOV will narrow. For example, at a magnification of 3X, the image that you observe should be 30 feet wide. At a magnification power of 9X, you will see lower wideness than half of that.
Q.3: What does MOA measurement mean in a long range scope?
A: MOA is an abbreviation for Minutes of Angle. In one degree there are 60 minutes. The scope for windage and elevation is adjusted through the use of MOA measurement.
When adjusting for MOA, you must keep in mind that the width rises with distance. So, if 1 minute is equal to 1 inch at 100 yards, 1 minute is equal to 2 inches at a distance of 200 yards.
The knobs for scope adjustment can work in either ¼ MOA or 1/8 MOA steps. A swifter form of reference of these adjustments can be obtained from a chart if you find the math to be a bit too difficult.
Q.4: Should I get a fixed magnification or variable magnification long range hunting riflescope?
A: Long range hunting rifle scope can come in both fixed and variable magnification, and although they differ in certain aspects, both have their own advantages and disadvantages. So, at the end of the day, it all comes down to your preference, and what purpose you are buying the riflescope for.
Variable magnification scopes are designed to be more versatile, and since they can be adjusted between a minimum and maximum magnification level, they can be used for both short range and long range hunting, and anything in between.
However, they can be complex to use for beginners, who might find using a fixed magnification scope much simpler for long range hunting.
Q.5: Why do some long range hunting scopes come with adjustable objective lenses?
A: Sometimes when you use your rifle to view targets further away from you, your riflescope may be affected by parallax. When this happens, the reticle of your long distance scope may seem to move slightly in accordance with your target.
Now, this is a feature that only exists in some scopes that come factory-tuned to be able to adjust for effects of parallax at certain distances.
However, even for these scopes, beyond that specific distance parallax may still occur. With adjustable objective lenses, you will be able to adjust the long range scope manually to prevent parallax errors.
In this article, I have pointed out many alternatives for long range hunting scopes for you to choose from. There are plenty of options available in the market to pick out that suits your needs.
In order to effectively choose the best long range hunting scope for yourself, you must first consider the different factors such as magnification, lens, turrets, reticles, and so on that may affect your buying decision.
Since these scopes are available in different price ranges, you must select one that best suits your budget.
Finally, you must also take into account the type of gun user you are. If you are a beginner, its best to stick to long distance scopes that are more suited to you in terms of features.
The scopes meant for professionals will be very complex for you to understand, if you are just starting out on your hunting journey. Good luck and happy hunting!!!