- About Long Range Shooting
- Important Factor when buying a sniper scope
- Best Sniper Scopes
- 1. Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56 Police Marksman II LP
- 2. Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 Riflescope
- 3. Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm
- 4. Burris Veracity 3-15x50mm Riflescope
- 5. Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
- 6. NightForce NXS 5.5-22x50mm/5.5-22x56mm
- 7. NIGHTFORCE ATACR 5-25x56mm F1
- 8. Monstrum G3 6-24×50 Riflescope
- 9. EOTech Vudu 5-25x50mm
- 10. Steiner T5Xi 5-25x56mm SCR Reticle Scope
- 11. Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm Riflescope
About Long Range Shooting
Although attractive, this title is somewhat tendentious since sniper scopes are designed for precision close-quarter engagements and those specifically made for long range shooting.
The most obvious way to choose the right optic and proper setup are by magnification range of scope.
Rifles scopes with magnification between 12x at least often beyond 20x are considered adequate for long range shooting at a distance beyond 400 yards and up to 1,200 yds.
Today, shooting at a target 1 mile away or farther is almost a norm in competitive shooting, and it is known as an extra-long (ELD) range shooting. For this
the discipline, you may need gargantuan riflescopes with incredible zoom power starting at 24x- 30x and ended up with fantastic 80x magnification.
Important Factor when buying a sniper scope
Before you invest a ton of money in a precision instrument called a long range riflescope, you need some characteristics of this racing glass.
A good rifle scope enables you to see your target far away at an ultimate range. It means that quality scope should have top-notch optical features and a superb internal mechanism to provide the user a quality image with enough details to take the shot.
Since the larger objective lens creates a brighter image, the objective lens diameter of 50mm or larger is the most common in long range shooting.
A big objective lens may negatively impact rifle balance or practicality in hunting or tactical situations. Still, for the competition, they are the norm and you should follow the saying: bigger is better.
When we talk about reticles, the most common reticle that uses the most experienced long range shooters comes in the shape of a Christmas tree.
There are a number of different reticle styles, and every manufacturer offers their version of a long range reticle either with MIL or MOA marks. The choice is essentially a matter of personal preference.
First or Second Focal Plane
Usually, a tactical reticle is placed in the first focal plane (FFP), where reticle subtensions do not change with magnification. On the other side, long range hunters use the second focal plane reticles (SFP) where the reticle doesn’t change size with the magnification.
Target turrets for windage and elevation adjustment are a must for any serious range shooters. Unlike capped, low-profile hunting turrets, the target turrets are tall, easy to turn and make tactile or audible clicks.
Additionally, target turrets have external markings to represent MOA or MIL and they are matched with the reticle hash marks (MOA/MOA or MIL/MIL version).
Besides rifle, high-end scope and a sophisticated aiming reticle, you need the best shooting equipment you can afford for the long range shooting, such as laser rangefinder spotting scope, shooting tripod, ballistic calculator, and installed ballistic application on your phone.
Best Sniper Scopes
1. Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56 Police Marksman II LP
One of the complete scopes tailor-made for the police and military forces comes from renowned German optics manufacturers – Schmidt & Bender.
Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56 PM II/LP belongs to the S&B Police Marksman II series of scopes designed for universal use from close quarters to distances of over 6,500 feet (2,000m).
The scope body is made of 34mm one-piece aluminum main tube nitrogen-filled for fog and waterproof resistance. This Schmidt & Bender is offered in a 5-25x configuration and boasts a large 56mm objective lens for low light use. Along with the extensive 5x magnification range, this universal scope has a wide field of view and an utterly adjustable parallax from 10 meters to infinity.
Schmidt & Bender 5-25×56 PM II/LP is famous for its DT feature, a unique color-coded Double Turn elevation turret for quick adjustments and instant reference for the shooter to where the elevation is set.
This long range optic features a vast 26 mrad of elevation in two turret turns, whereas both the elevation and windage turrets have 0.1 MRAD adjustments.
Though the standard configuration is the first focal plane, the scope is available with a choice of various ballistic illuminated reticles also located in a second focal plane.
2. Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 Riflescope
Vortex Optics’ 5-25×50 Viper PST is another rock-solid scope with universal 5-25x magnification power ideally suited for close-quarters combat and perfectly designed for shooting on targets at long distances. Vortex Viper PST 5-25×50 Gen II riflescope is feature-rich and comes at an affordable price.
All rifle scopes in the Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) series are manufactured from 30mm aluminum one-piece tubes that are O-ring sealed and argon purged to ensure reliable performance for long terms.
The Vortex Viper PST Gen. 2 5-25×50 comes with XR fully multi-coated lenses and the Extra-Low Dispersion (XD) optical elements for bright, clear, glare-free, and true color images.
The outer lens surfaces are protected from abrasion, oil, and dirt by a coating of Armortek, a Vortex’s ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating.
This model comes with the illumined EBR-4 MOA reticle set in a 2nd focal plane. It is an etched glass reticle of a German 4 style designed with a system of MOA ranging and compensation markings.
The Viper PST features exposed tactical turrets where one click makes ¼ MOA corrections.
3. Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm
While the Leupold VX-3i rifle scopes are meant for hunting, their VX-3i LRP (Long Range Precision) line is designed for long range shooting and hunting on great distances.
With a 3x zoom ratio, a model with a 6.5-20x50mm configuration will not allow you to place a shot with precision at long range, but at 20.4 oz, it will be a good choice for a walk-about bolt action rifle.
The scope housing consists of a 30mm main tube constructed from the 1-piece aircraft-grade aluminum. The scope body is filled with a second-generation argon/krypton mixture and sealed for waterproof and fog proof reliability in the field.
The Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x features a large 50mm objective bell making it an ideal scope for twilight hunting. The scope comes with Leupold’s proprietary Twilight Max Management System of coatings for the added low light capability to provide a razor-sharp resolution and true color fidelity in challenging light conditions.
For protection from scratches, all exterior glass surfaces are treated with ion-assisted DiamondCoat 2 lens coatings.
The Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x is available with first or second front focal plane reticles in MOA or MIL.
The scope comes with Custom Dial System (CDS) target turrets featuring a 1/4-MOA target-style click windage and elevation adjustments.
Along with legendary manufacturer unsurpassed durability, this scope is covered by Leupold’s full lifetime guarantee.
4. Burris Veracity 3-15x50mm Riflescope
With a 5-times zoom, the Burris Veracity series allows you a larger field of view at close ranges and powerful ranging of farther targets.
Among other Veracity models, a 3-15x50mm riflescope is the happy medium perfect for serious big game and varmint hunters and long range precision target shooters.
Using a broad 50mm objective, this versatile scope provides you significant amounts of light, particularly during dawn and dusk, making it an ideal assistant for predator hunting.
The scope is built around a rugged, single-piece 30 mm tube made of aircraft-grade aluminum, nitrogen filed and shockproof.
Burris Optics 3-15×50 features high-grade optical glass with index-matched multi coatings to provide bright, high-contrast views at all magnifications.
This model boasts a Ballistic Plex E1 reticle located in a first focal plane (FFP). While this modified duplex reticle uses progressively thicker crosshairs for fast target acquisition, it offers a trajectory compensation out to 600 yds.
An additional selling point of the Veracity series is Burris’s proprietary Modular Adjustment Dial (MAD) turret system. While the scope is shipped with low-profile adjustment knobs suitable for a typical hunting environment, you can order competition-style exposed knobs with markings that perfectly match your caliber and load.
5. Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
After the highly popular Conquest V4 scopes, Zeiss’s natural step was introducing 6x zoom scopes within series called V6.
Designed around a 6x SuperZoom optical system, the Zeiss Conquest V6 line consists of five scopes, but for this review, we opt for the most powerful 5-30×50 model. The V6 5-30×50 is built to excel at mid to long range shooting distances.
It is made evenly for mid to extra long range hunting and serious precision shooting. A modest 22.2 ft -3.6 ft field of view at 100 yards enables situational awareness, a critical feature for snipers and covert operations.
Featherweight and very compact, this high-magnification riflescope provides great flexibility utilizing a 6x zoom.
As you expect from renowned manufacturers such as Zeiss, this Conquest V6 is backed by SCHOTT fluoride (FL) protective LotuTec coating and proprietary enhanced T* lens coating.
All of these optical elements provide industry-leading resolution and the highest details of scope imaging.
There are several reticle options for the model of V6 intended for any hunting or shooting style. Located in a second focal plane, the German #4 style Reticle 6 reticle offers three posts and a thin crosshair that would cover most hunting needs at medium and long range.
The ballistic turrets (BT) for elevation and windage are designed for long range shooting and hunting. Finger-adjustable turrets are graduated in 1/4 MOA increments and have a ballistic stop to return to the original sight-in distance/zero after.
6. NightForce NXS 5.5-22x50mm/5.5-22x56mm
Like the full-size, long range scopes, the Nightforce NXS line of riflescopes is originally designed and developed for the US Military. Still, soon NF released compact models, a perfect choice for hunting dangerous big game.
While the sturdy housing is completely waterproof and weather resistant, it is made from a single piece aircraft-grade 6061 T6 aluminum.
The NXS battle-proven and rugged scopes are trusted by military personnel and hunters alike. The most powerful model, 5.5-22x, comes in two variants with 50mm and 56mm objective bells. If you need a scope for low light ambients, the one with a 56mm lens would be a better option as it allows for higher light resolution at extreme magnifications.
The Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50 boasts an optical system with fully multi-coated lenses to provide a superb resolution and the utmost clarity at maximum magnification. Combining wide 100 MOA of elevation travel with a broad magnification range, this advanced field tactical optics is capable of hitting targets at over 2,000 yards accurately.
This model features a MOAR-T reticle with a floated MOA center, making it suitable for fast range estimation.
7. NIGHTFORCE ATACR 5-25x56mm F1
The Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 is one of the best long range scopes the shooting industry can offer currently. As its name says (Advanced TACtical Riflescope), ATACR is a premium-level tactical riflescope intended for use by professionals all over the world under harsh conditions.
The robust optical mechanism is housed in a 34mm main central tube made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum.
Nightforce ATACR comes with Extra-low dispersion (ED) glass for more light transmission and bright images.
Nightforce’s latest entry is equipped with an illuminated first focal plane F1 reticle specially designed for long range shooting.
The ATACR 5-25×56 has capped windage knob, while the exposed target turret on top of the body offers 120 MOA of elevation adjustment.
For quick power changes, the scope is equipped with an integrated Power Throw Lever (PTL).
8. Monstrum G3 6-24×50 Riflescope
The Monstrum Tactical G3 6-24×50 scope is a good choice for shooters who want quality under budget. This scope sports all the features required from an average long distance riflescope.
The scope comes with 6-24x magnification, perfect for mid to long distance shooting out to 1,000+ yards.
The Monstrum G3 has a body built from hard-anodized 6160-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum. The 30mm main tube keeps the internal mechanism made of brass safe because the scope housing is waterproof and fog-proof.
The scope has an adjustable objective lens, AO, that eliminates parallax and allows for a sharper focus of the target image.
The G3 has an illuminated, first focal plane MOA reticle, suitable for very long range hunting and range estimation.
9. EOTech Vudu 5-25x50mm
The EOTech company is known for its holographic weapon sights, but recently they entered the precision rifle scope arena with a Vudu series of high-quality optics.
Perhaps the most appealing model for the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) crowd is the EOTech Vudu 5-25X50 scope. This high-powered rifle scope includes super-clear XC High-Density glass, a quality holdover style reticle, and precise turrets with our EZ Chek Zero Stop.
The most prominent feature is its compact dimensions. Measuring at just 11.2 inches in length, the 5-25x is ideal for short platform rifles.
As one of the shortest high-powered scopes on the market, it leaves plenty of room on your rail to attach either a thermal optic or a clip-on night-vision.
The EOTech Vudu 5-25X50 is constructed from the single-piece 34mm T6 aircraft aluminum tube to withstand the most rugged use and toughest conditions.
Like all competition top-notch rifle scopes, the EOTech Vudu 5-25X50 is an excellent choice for tactical applications related to the law enforcement community and military snipers.
10. Steiner T5Xi 5-25x56mm SCR Reticle Scope
Another world class long range scope comes from a German Steiner optics manufacturer. The Steiner T5Xi series includes several models, but our candidate is a 5-25x56mm riflescope, a pretty standard configuration today when looking for the best sniper scopes.
The optical systems of the Steiner T5xi 5-25x56mm rifle scope are just the same as you would expect from the top-end rifle scopes currently found on the market.
The main scope body is based on a robust and sturdy 34mm aluminum tube purged with nitrogen and sealed for fog proof and waterproof resistance.
With a vast 56mm objective lens, this high-end scope features the low-profile resettable turrets, which provide 26 MIL of elevation and 15 MIL windage adjustment ranges.
The German-made T5Xi 5-25x56mm has equipped with the Competition Reticle (SCR) reticle that allows the marksman to a precise precision without obscuring the target.
The illuminated reticle is set in the first focal plane and consists of three very thin posts designed for long range precision.
While a costly investment, the whole Steiner T5Xi optical system provides an incredible light transmission and vivid images even at max magnification without distortion in the lens.
11. Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm Riflescope
One of the most popular long range shooting disciplines is the F-Class shooting competition, with targets set up at various distances from 300 to 1,200 yards.
A high-magnification zoom scope, like Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x riflescope, is a typical example made for this competitive sport shooting.
Extremely high magnification will provide long distance clarity and enable the shooter to see 6 or 6.5mm bullet holes in the white at 600 yards. Besides a power range of 15x to 60x, the Vortex Golden Eagle scope comes with a 52mm objective lens to provide bright images and optimum visual performance.
The scope is relatively lightweight since it is built from a 30mm single-piece aluminum tube of aircraft quality. The scope housing is O-ring sealed for argon-filled for waterproof and fogproof performance.
The Golden Eagle HD boasts fully multi-coated lenses with index-matched XR Plus anti-reflection coatings. Vortex protects all exterior glass surfaces with ArmorTek ultra-hard scratch-resistant coatings against scratches, debris, dirt, and oil.
Designed for the serious F Class shooter, this very fine optic has an extra-fine graduation adjustment set at only 0,125 MOA per click.
The Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm is available with reticles for the serious target shooter. This model features a very fine ECR-1 reticle set at the SFP, ideal for distance calculation and shot placement corrections.
While the ‘industry standard’ for long range shooting comes from the Japan manufacturer March, plenty of quality solutions on the market provide a similar level of accuracy and precision.
Most of these scopes from our list are designed explicitly around the increasingly popular long range shooting. Still, many of them also have a military background as part of sniper systems.
While elite military units regularly use sniper scopes, these optics are very popular among civilian consumers due to their durability, precision, and versatility.
Finally, every sniper scope needs to have several key features crisp and clear glass, a quality holdover style reticle and a zero stop.