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7 Best Long-Range Rifle Scopes for Hunting, Shooting, and More [2023] preview image
Jul 30 2023
16 min read

7 Best Long-Range Rifle Scopes for Hunting, Shooting, and More [2023]

Vortex Razor HD Gen IIBest Overall – Vortex Razor HD Gen II
Vortex Viper PST Gen IIBest Under $1500 – Vortex Viper PST Gen II
Sightron S-TAC 4-20X50MOABest Under $600 – Sightron S-TAC 4-20X50MOA
Bushnell Match Pro EDBest New Scope – Bushnell Match Pro ED
March Scopes High Master Genesis 6-60X56mmBest Extreme Long-Range Scope – March Scopes High Master Genesis 6-60X56mm
Vortex Viper HD 20-60x85Best Spotting Scope for Long-Range Shooting – Vortex Viper HD 20-60×85
Burris Veracity PH 4-20X50Best with New Technology – Burris Veracity PH 4-20X50


Long-range shooting requires a lot from a shooter. You must practice your craft to develop the necessary muscle memory and precision to make difficult shots repeatedly.

Long-range shooting also requires a lot from the shooter’s equipment. If you don’t have the right rifle paired with the right optic (scope), you will struggle to be successful.

man scoped in with rifle long range
Photo Credit: Shooting Sports USA

Many people, when purchasing a rifle, focus solely on the rifle and then add a scope seemingly as an afterthought. The reality is that the scope can easily be as important as the rifle when participating in long-range shooting.

Buying a high-quality scope goes a long way to making consistent, accurate, and precise shooting possible.

At Gun Made, we are here to help you pick the best scope for your long-range rifle. If you haven’t already purchased your long-range rifle, check out our guide for the best long-range rifles.

Buyers Guide: How To Determine What Scope Is Right For You?


It is essential to know what you plan to do with your scope. If the only shooting you plan to do with your rifle is under 50 yards, you don’t want a scope with a minimum magnification of 10x.

Conversely, if you plan to shoot exclusively over one thousand yards, you will want a scope with more than 1x magnification.


The amount of money you can spend on your scope will determine the quality of the glass you can purchase. Everyone wants the performance of a $1,000+ scope for $100, but the reality is manufacturers charge a premium for high-quality products. Scopes are no different.

Figuring out where your financial resources intersect with the quality and capability of the available optics is paramount in selecting a scope for long-range shooting.

Basic Scope Terms

When choosing a scope, there are some terms you need to understand to help make an informed choice. We are going to explore those terms.

Eye Relief

If you have ever been using a scope and struggled with a black ring around your field of view, you have dealt with the issue of eye relief. So what is eye relief? It is the distance between your eye and the lens of your scope or optic.

eye relief distance explanation
Photo Credit: Leupold

If you have an incorrect eye relief distance, what you see in your scope will have problems. You might experience a black ring around your view in the scope. You might also be dealing with a fuzzy image.

Having your scope the correct distance from your eye ensures a much better shooting experience. If the eye relief is wrong, it can lead to a frustrating shooting session or even scope eye/bite. One example is where you have to place your face close to the scope to achieve appropriate eye relief and get smacked by the scope when the rifle recoils.

Taking time to work on your eye relief before heading to the range with your scope for the first time will save later frustration. It also might save you a nice scar on your face.


Parallax is an issue that more acutely affects long-range shootings. Parallax can be detected when you move your head or eye when using your scope. If the reticle appears to move around the object you are aiming at, your parallax is off.

parallax adjustment
Photo Credit: Abbey Supply

The longer the distance of the shot and the higher the magnification on the scope, the more this becomes an issue. Properly adjusted parallax resolves this issue and is a paramount concern for long-range shooters.

Zeroing a Scope

Zeroing a scope is adjusting the scope to shoot accurately at a specific point of aim at a specific distance. Depending on the distance, the shooter will most commonly use their rifle and scope; that is the distance you will zero your scope.

Windage & Elevation

Windage and Elevation deal with the adjustment of the scope to compensate for deviation in the bullet’s trajectory. Windage refers to horizontal adjustments, while elevation refers to vertical adjustments.

scope elevation and how to use
Photo Credit: Hunters Halt

Adjusting your scope’s elevation when long-range shooting requires the shooter to use a rangefinder to determine the distance from the shooter to the target.

Once the distance is known, the elevation turret can be adjusted to compensate for the bullet’s drop. Gravity and wind resistance will affect the bullet as it travels down range to the target.

Windage works in a similar fashion to elevation but on the horizontal plane. For windage, the wind is the variable that affects the bullet as it travels down range. The shooter needs to know the wind’s direction and speed so they can adjust their scope to achieve maximum accuracy and precision.

MOA vs. Mil

Mil and MOA are two means of measuring angles with scopes. Mil (Milliradian) is most frequently seen in military optics. MOA (Minute of angle) is ubiquitous in target shooting and hunting. MOA and Mil are united by measuring the angle within a circle.

mil vs moa
Photo Credit:

Looking at MOA, we see that one minute of angle is roughly equal to one inch at 100 yards. When a rifle advertises a 1 MOA guarantee, they state the rifle will put the specified number of shots in a circle with a 1-inch diameter. For comparison, one mil is equal to 3.6 inches at 100 yards.

Look at your scope’s turrets or manual to determine the adjustments required for your specific scope. Many scopes adjust ¼ MOA per click and .1 mil per click.

First Focal Plane and Second Focal Plane

The main difference between a first focal plane scope (FFP) and second focal plane scope (SFP) is how the reticle behaves.

First Focal Plane

With a first focal plane scope, the reticle size changes based on the magnification setting of the scope. This means that the units of measurement on the scope remain the same regardless of magnification. FFP scopes are more popular with long-range shooters than second focal plane scopes.

second focal plane scope
Photo Credit: Outdoorsmans

Second Focal Plane

Second focal plane scopes have been around for a long time and are very common. The reticle on second focal plane scopes stays the same regardless of magnification.

This means that the hash mark distances are only truly accurate at the maximum magnification. Below maximum magnification, the hash marks are relative values based on the current magnification settings of the scope.

first focal plane scope
Photo Credit: Outdoorsmans

Best Long Range Scope – Vortex Razor HD Gen II

Vortex Razor HD Gen II


Weight48.5 ounces
Length14.4 inches
Objective Lens Diameter56mm
Tube Size30mm
Parallax32 yards to infinity

Pros & Cons

  • High-quality glass
  • Durable
  • Vortex warranty
  • Magnification
  • Overall great feature set
  • Heavy

The Vortex Razor HD Gen II is the choice for the best overall scope for a long-range scope. The Vortex Razor HD Gen II is not the best scope money can buy. It is an excellent scope that sits at a decent price point, has great glass and a nice magnification range, is very durable, and is adjustable.

The quality of the glass, reticle, durability, and warranty has made Vortex one of the most important players in the precision shooting world.

most popular brand scopes

The incredibly clear glass on the Vortex Razor HD Gen II makes a difference when shooting long-range. Combined with the varied types of reticles available and the quality of those reticles for the Razor, makes this scope an absolute pleasure to use.

vortex razor hd gen ii scope
Photo Credit: Vortex

Adjustments on the Vortex Razor HD Gen II are simple, with high-quality turrets that are large and textured. Additionally, a tactile button on the scope helps the shooter know what adjustments have been made to their optic so they can return their scope to the standard settings more easily.

Best Long Range Scope under $1500 – Vortex Viper PST Gen II

Vortex Viper PST Gen II


Weight31.2 ounces
Length15.79 inches
Objective Lens Diameter50mm
Tube Size30mm
Parallax25 yards to infinity

Pros & Cons

  • Good glass
  • First focal plane option available
  • Good range of magnification
  • Solid construction
  • Vortex warranty
  • Heavy

The Vortex Viper PST Gen II is the choice for a long-range scope under $1500. A solid performer at an affordable price point, the Vortex Viper PST Gen II is a good scope for those looking to get into precision shooting.

Vortex Viper PST Gen II
Photo Credit: u/Gamikatsu

You can use the Vortex Viper PST Gen II for target shooting and hunting. With Vortex’s well-known quality and warranty, taking this scope out for a day walking up and down hills, the associated wear on your scope isn’t an issue.

The Viper’s durability is up to the task of ensuring the shooter’s hunt will be successful.

The glass on this scope is clear, combined with Vortex’s excellent selection of reticles; the Vortex Viper PST Gen II is more than capable of making long shots. The Viper’s variable zoom allows the shooter to pick the option that suits the shot and enables the shooter to achieve maximum success.

For a mid-range scope, the Vortex Viper PST Gen II hits a sweet spot of affordability and functionality.

Best Long Range Scope under $600 – Sightron S-TAC 4-20X50MOA

Sightron S-TAC 4-20X50MOA


Weight23.6 ounces
Length14.7 inches
Objective Lens Diameter50mm
Tube Size30mm
Parallax10 yards to infinity

Pros & Cons

  • Good glass
  • Good reticle
  • Good price point
  • Sightron warranty
  • Adjustments are solid
  • Does not compare with $1000+ scopes

The “budget” option on this list, the Sightron S-Tac 4-20x is anything but budget. This scope provides tons of value to the shooter and is a great entry point for those wanting to get into long-range shooting but are unwilling or unable to spend on a more expensive scope.

Sightron S-Tac
Photo Credit: Optics Thoughts

The Sightron S-Tac is not a $100 special from the local sporting goods store. This scope provides better glass clarity and won’t have noticeable issues with blur when compared to cheaper scopes. When purchasing this scope, paying extra for the MOA reticle is a must.

You get what you pay for; this becomes increasingly true when you explore the long-range shooting and optics world. The difference in the glass between the under $600 scope, the Sightron S-Tac, and the overall best scope, the Vortex Razor HD Gen II, is significant.

If the Sightron is the scope in the budget, the shooter will be able to shoot precisely at a distance and be successful.

Best New Scope – Bushnell Match Pro ED

Bushnell Match Pro ED


Weight32 ounces
Length15.4 inches
Objective Lens Diameter56mm
Tube Size34mm
Parallax15 yards to infinity

Pros & Cons

  • Good price point
  • Excellent durability
  • Good quality glass
  • Not true daylight illumination

The Bushnell Match Pro ED is our choice for the best new long-range scope. Using the success of their earlier scopes as a springboard, Bushnell took the feedback provided by shooters and made changes to their Match Pro scope to make the Match Pro ED.

Match Pro ED
Photo Credit: Recoil Web

One of the improvements to the Match Pro ED is an increase in magnification. The Match Pro ED sports a range of 5x-30x. An improvement to the illumination of the reticle also has occurred. It sports 11 adjustable brightness settings and an auto-off feature to preserve the battery.

The reticle on the Bushnell Match Pro ED features an all-new reticle. The Deploy MIL 2 (DM2) is an etched glass reticle designed to be clear and visible in all lighting conditions.

Match Pro ED glass
Photo Credit: Gun Digest

Sporting an ED (Extra-Low-Dispersion) 56mm objective lens, the Match Pro ED has clear glass that provides excellent sharpness and contrast. The range of adjustments that Match Pro ED sports is excellent as well. When making adjustments, the shooter has a 30 MIL (103 MOA) elevation range.

The Bushnell Match Pro ED is another great optic from Bushnell. The combination of features and price point make this scope an obvious choice for those looking for a new scope.

Best Extreme Long-Range Scope – March Scopes High Master Genesis 6-60X56mm

March Scopes High Master Genesis 6-60X56mm


Weight52.21 ounces
Length15.75 inches
Objective Lens Diameter64mm
Tube SizeN/A
Parallax10 yards to infinity

Pros & Cons

  • One of the very best scopes money can buy
  • Extremely high-quality glass
  • 400 MOA of elevation adjustment
  • No other modifications needed to achieve optimal performance
  • Costly

Our pick for extreme long-range scope is the March Scopes Genesis. Offering exceptional clarity, innovative design, and the highest zoom ratio for a first focal plane optic in the world, the March Scopes Genesis is second to none.

March Scopes Genesis
Photo Credit:

When discussing the March Scopes Genesis, you need to understand you are talking about a scope capable of shooting extremely long distances.

The March Scopes Genesis can shoot as close as twenty meters (21.8 yards) and as far away as three miles (4827 meters). One reason the Genesis can shoot such long distances is that it sports 400 MOA of elevation.

A first focal plane scope, the March Scopes Genesis has some of the best, if not the very best, glass on the market. Clarity, definition, and minimal chromatic aberration mean the shooter will be able to engage their targets at extreme ranges effectively.

The March Genesis reticle is always centered in the scope, even when the scope has been adjusted to the limits of its 400 MOA elevation. This helps to ensure the clarity of the scope always stays the same.

For those seeking to push their rifle, scope, and themselves to the absolute limits of extreme long-range shooting, the March Scopes Genesis is the very best money can buy.

Best Spotting Scope for Long-Range Shooting – Vortex Viper HD 20-60×85

Vortex Viper HD 20-60x85


Length17.5 inches
Objective Lens Diameter85mm
Tube Sizen/a

Pros & Cons

  • Very high-quality glass
  • Durable
  • Excellent Vortex Warranty
  • Expensive

Our choice for the best spotting scope is the Vortex Viper HD 20-60×85.

 Why do we have a spotting scope on a list for long-range rifle scopes? When participating in long-range shooting, having a spotter who can witness the fall of the shot and help the shooter make adjustments to hit the target consistently is helpful.

spotting scope
Photo Credit: Hunting Gear Guy

The cartridges required when shooting long-range targets or hunting at longer distances will produce enough recoil to prevent the shooter from seeing the fall of their shot on the target. A spotter with a high-quality spotting scope is critical to getting your shots on target.

The glass on the Vortex Viper HD is extra-low dispersion glass. The extra-low-dispersion glass, combined with high-quality coatings, protects the glass from everyday wear and tear. The Vortex Viper HD will provide your spotter with excellent vision to help you hit your target consistently.

One complaint people have with the Vortex Viper HD 20-85x is the narrow field of view of the included eyepiece. The narrow field of view is a minor gripe that should not prevent you from purchasing the scope.

The build quality, excellent glass, and Vortex warranty make this our number-one choice for spotting scopes.

Best with New Technology – Burris Veracity PH 4-20X50

Burris Veracity PH 4-20X50

The Veracity PH is Burris’s top-of-the-line hunting scope. It’s 30mm tube houses a digital Heads-up-display (HUD) and a PĒK elevation turret, which is an electronic programmable and mechanical hybrid adjustment turret.

The reticle is in the first focal plane and is built for wind corrections with graduated windage marks. Additionally, the scope is built in the MOA scale, which is more beneficial to hunters.

The Veracity PH offers a rapid and accurate firing solution to hunters in long-range hunting scenarios. With the MOA come-ups or the ability to show actual distance rapidly in the internal HUD, users can make quick corrections for distance.

“I have had positive initial impressions of the Veracity PH – it looks good, feels solid, and the optical quality seems to meet its price. Hunting open country and long-range has been my specialty for many years, so I wanted to put this scope to the test.” Read Jeff Wood’s Burris Veracity PH review here.

How We Chose Our Top Picks

When selecting our top long-range rifle scope, we emphasized its price and purpose. Long-range shooting is not a cheap sport. It requires spending money on a high-quality rifle, a high-quality scope, and plenty of ammunition and then spending enough time at the range shooting to become competent.

Unfortunately, the sport’s costly nature will be a significant barrier to entry for many who want to participate in long-range shooting. Plenty of rifle scopes are available that come in much more affordable price points and allow those who can’t afford the top overall pick from our list, the Vortex Razor HD Gen II, an opportunity to compete.

After the price, we considered the purpose of the scope. A hefty scope isn’t as difficult for a bench rest shooter to use as it would be for someone hunting.

If you are not shooting extreme long-range matches, spending the extra money for the March Scope Genesis is probably not worth it. Knowing what and where you plan to use your scope will help determine which scope to buy.


What is the best scope magnification for 1,000 yards?

When shooting long-range, defined as 1,000 yards by the National Rifle Association, you want a scope with at least 10x magnification. The effect of 10x magnification on a 1,000-yard distant target is to make it appear 100 yards away.

What is the effective range of a 3-9×40 scope?

You picked up a new long-range rifle and want to shoot long-range but only have the scope on your 30-30 deer rifle.

The true answer is the effective range of a 3-9×40 scope is based on your skill. There are limiting factors, though, that will determine the effectiveness of your deer rifle scope. Three hundred yards is the point where most 3-9×40 scopes lose effectiveness.

What brand makes the best scope?

This question is the type of question that can destroy friendships and split up families. Every scope manufacturer does some things well and others not as well. Do your research and pick the scope that is best for your and your situation. Buy the scope you want that suits your needs and fits your budget.

Last Words

Selecting a high-quality scope when long-range shooting can be just as important as selecting the right rifle. The Vortex Razor HD Gen II is our top choice for a long-range rifle scope. This scope allows you, the shooter, to trust that the scope will perform at a high level optically, that the scope will be durable enough to withstand frequent usage, and will provide all the necessary features required to participate in long-range shooting.

If the Vortex Razor HD Gen II is not the right scope for you, either because of cost or because it doesn’t suit your needs functionally, examine the other scopes on this list. Regardless of which scope you choose to purchase, do so knowing you are getting a great scope that will help you accurately put rounds on target for years to come.

Chris Fortenberry photo Chris is a firearms enthusiast and collector located in Texas. Chris’ passion for firearms started at a young age and was fueled by his passion for history. Chris used that passion to become a historian and feels that spreading the understanding of firearms functionally, socially, and politically is one of the paramount jobs of the 2nd Amendment community. He seeks to share his knowledge with those around him.


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