5 Best Long Range Rifle Scopes: Buying Guide and Reviews

(Last Updated On: November 5, 2021)

Many rifle enthusiasts use a long-range rifle scope on their firearms. One of the main reasons for this is that a long-range rifle scope simplifies the sighting process.

One of the best long-range rifle scopes is the Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50. Vortex is known for its quality glass at reasonable prices.

You will also want to get a quality mount for your rifle scope. We list some of The Best Rifle Scope Mounts and Rings: Buying Guide and Reviews in this article.

Here are our reviews of the five best long range rifle scopes.

1.Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24-50

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

The Vortex Strike Eagle is a mid-range optic with an illuminated reticle, BDC markings, and capped turrets in ½ MOA clicks. The Strike Eagle delivers the versatility of both short and long range shots with quality housing. 

Simple in style, the reticle gives you several valuable options when using it. When the optic is in 1X mode, the rings on the outside will “gather” your targets close. 

There is almost no distortion until the very outer edge of the optic when using the 1X mode. The inner lines are great for mid-range targets that need to have a more precise shot. 

Making adjustments on the Vortex Strike Eagle long range rifle scope is simple. The Strike Eagle also features a raised adjustment fin on the magnification adjustment ring. 

The capped turrets give 1⁄2 MOA clicks and have a max range of 140 MOA in elevation and windage. With a 30mm tube, it is easy to find a mount for the Strike Eagle.

Key Features:

  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • XD lens elements
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum housing
  • Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
  • Glass-etched reticle
  • Capped reset turrets

2. Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm

Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm Riflescope

Built around Leupold’s Professional-Grade Optical System, the 2-12 gives excellent light transmission designed to perform in the most challenging lighting conditions. 

The glare reduction provides a clear image in both harsh or direct light. With resolution and clarity, the Leupold VX-6HD will deliver the optical performance needed in the field. 

The versatile 6:1 zoom ratio on this long range rifle scope gives you 6 times more magnification at high power than at low power. 

The wide zoom range, the in-scope electronic reticle level, ZeroLock elevation dial, and removable throw lever make the VX-6HD the most versatile Leupold rifle scope ever.

Key Features:

  • Second Focal plane
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Impact-resistant
  • Will perform from -40 to 160 degrees F
  • Zero lock dial
  • Custom dial system

3. Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42mm

Leupold VX-5HD 2-10x42mm Riflescope

The versatile 2-10x magnification on the Leupold VX-5HD will give you a wide field of view and allow for clear, long-range shots. Made with a proprietary Firedot illumination, this rifle scope will provide you with a bright, intuitive aiming point that maintains in low light conditions. 

The wide magnification range on this long range rifle scope will give both hunters and shooters the ability to adapt to whatever environment they are in. 

You will adjust your magnification to find your perfect balance between magnification and field of view for any situation. The VX-5HD is one of the lightest, most rugged 5:1 scopes in its class.

Key Features:

  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Extreme Fast-Focus eyepiece
  • Twin bias spring erector system
  • Guard-Ion, rain shedding coating
  • Twilight Max Light Management system
  • Second-focal plane reticle

4. Burris XTR II 4-20x50mm

Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II 4-20x50mm Precision Rifle Scope

The Burris Xtreme is an ideal tactical tool for almost any operation. Great for both competitive shooters and tactical operators. 

The XTR II 4-20x50mm long range rifle scope features a 5x zoom system and a tube that is 25% thicker construction than the original XTR scopes. 

The front focal plane reticle design allows the reticle size to increase or decrease as the magnification increases or decreases. 

The lenses on the Burris optimize target resolution, contrast, and low-light performance. The all hand-fitted internal assemblies are triple spring-tensioned for shock proofing, even when under severe recoil.

Key Features:

  • Front focal plane reticle
  • Side focus and parallax adjustment for accuracy
  • Optics and tactical adjustment knobs for ease of use
  • Zero Click Stop
  • Used for both tactical and competitive shooting
  • 34mm body tube

5. Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II First Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex has crafted the Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 long-range rifle scope with illuminated reticles that offer 10 different intensity levels. There are off positions between each setting so that you can customize your sighting experience at the range. 

Built to handle poor weather conditions, this riflescope is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. 

The ArmorTek coatings protect the lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt. The anodized finish on the Bortex protects from corrosion and gives the scope a low-glare matte finish for added concealment while hunting. 

The optics are user-friendly, with the Rapid Zero Return that prevents your turret from dialing below the sight-in range. The fast focus eyepiece allows you to focus on the reticle for quicker shots, too quickly.

Key Features:

  • Glass etched reticle
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Precision-force spring system
  • Precision-glide erector system
  • Shockproof

Buying Guide For Long Range Rifle Scopes

Magnification

In the case of a long range rifle scope, magnification is how much closer the target appears than how the target would appear to your naked eye. For example, if a scope’s magnification is 6x, that means the shooter can see six times closer than the naked eye. 

If that is the case, it would seem like the more magnification, the better, but that is not always true.

Here is a guide to the right amount of magnification to look for in a long-range rifle scope.

  • If you use your rifle mainly for target shooting of up to 100 yards or hunt small game, get a magnification between 1-4x.
  • If you use your rifle for target shooting of up to 200 yards, hunt big game, or hunt in closed landscapes such as forests or mountains, get magnification between 5-8x.
  • If you use your rifle for target shooting beyond 200 yards or hunt in open landscapes such as deserts or fields, get a magnification between 9-12x.

The magnification is the first number before the “x” is the amount of magnification in the scope.

Fixed And Variable Power

There are two types of magnification, fixed and variable. If a scope has fixed power, then it uses one magnification, like 2×40. If the scope uses more than one magnification, it will be a variable power, like 2-9×40.

The advantage of the variable power over the fixed is that it allows you to shoot in various situations and environments. 

However, if you will only be shooting from one distance at all times, then a fixed power scope will be all that you need.

Objective Lens

The objective lens on a scope is located at the end farthest from your eye and is responsible for light transmission. Usually, the bigger the objective lens, the brighter and clearer the image will be. 

It may seem like the bigger the lens, the better. However, just like with magnification, that is not always the case.

Think about this when choosing the size of an objective lens:

  • If you have low recoil on your rifle and use it for close-range hunting, get an objective lens 28mm and under.
  • If your rifle has a lot of recoil and you use it in low-light settings, get an objective 30 – 44mm lens.
  • If you are a long range shooter or use high magnification in low light, get an objective lens that is 50mm and up.

In Conclusion

Those experts in the know say that you should never skimp on a long range rifle scope. A quality scope enables you to be accurate in competition shooting or hunting.

When buying a scope for your rifle, it is best to purchase a quality scope and purchase it just once, rather than buy an inferior scope and have to replace it down the road because of poor performance.

FAQ

What do the numbers on a long range rifle scope mean?

The measurement of rifle scopes is broken down into segments that are similar to a math equation. 

The first digit represents the level of magnification the scope presents. If the number is “2”, it means that the target will appear two times as close as it would without a scope. 

After a dash, the next digit represents the power of the scope. If the number is a “5”, the scope’s power brings the target into focus, appearing six times closer than without the scope. 

Another digit, such as 50, will then follow an x. The last number refers to the objective lens diameter of the scope measured in millimeters. 

This example would be written as 2-5×50. It means that a 2-5×50 scope equals 2 times the magnification; the target appears 5 times closer to the shooter and is seen through a lens that is 50 millimeters in diameter.

How much magnification do you need in a scope?

The level of magnification will depend on how far away your targets are going to be. If you consistently have closer targets, a low-power rifle scope is best so that the view of the target is not altered. 

If your targets will be farther away, or if the targets themselves are small, you will want to increase the level of magnification.

Does it make a difference if you wear glasses and use a rifle scope?

In most cases, wearing glasses while using a scope will alter the view a bit. It could cause you to make mistakes and not be able to hit your targets. Those shooters find that it is best to raise their glasses when using their rifle scope.

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Andrew Garfield
 

Andrew is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He has years of experience in hunting with expert knowledge in hunting tactics, rifle scopes and all types of hunting gear.

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