Hitting a target at 1000 yards is no easy feat. However, there are few things in life worth accomplishing that are easy. Successful shooting at extreme ranges is a thrilling and addictive challenge, and definitely worth the effort.
If your goal is to punch long-range targets, you’ll need a high-quality optic to help pull it off. The best 1000 yard scope has several key features to help you make precision shots at extreme ranges.
If you aren’t sure what to look for to achieve sniper-level accuracy, keep reading. We’re going to walk you through the primary features of a good long-range scope. We even share a few of our favorite models to get you started.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated 1000 Yard Scopes:
- Leupold VX-3i LRP 4.5-14×50
- Primary Arms SLX 4-14×44
- Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56
- Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II 8-40×50
- Nightforce Optics Precision Benchrest 12-42×56
- Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
- Swarovski X5i 5-25×56
- Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50
Table of Contents
- Best Scopes for 1000-Yard Shooting: What to Look for?
- Best 1000 Yard Scope on the Market Reviews
- Final Thoughts
Best Scopes for 1000-Yard Shooting: What to Look for?
It is a common misconception that you need massive magnification to make accurate 1000-yard shots. The truth is, accurate long-distance shots are completely possible with an optic that has relatively low magnification. Even mediocre shooters regularly ping steel at that distance with 3-9x riflescopes.
While powerful magnification is a nice option when shooting long-range, skill and proficiency with your equipment are more important for getting the job done.
Even if you choose a scope with plenty of magnification, dialing it all the way up doesn’t usually work as well as you might think. Image quality degrades as magnification increases.
Also, as the image is magnified, so is everything else, including tiny movements of your body. This can be disorienting when you’re trying to focus on a target, and will have major effects on accuracy. Knocking the power down a few notches usually provides a more stable shot. Keep this in mind when deciding on the magnification range of your optic.
As a general recommendation, 10x magnification is usually enough to get lead on a 20-inch plate at 1000 yards. If you need to hit a 1MOA target at that distance, you’ll probably want a bit more magnification.
However, as with most things in the shooting world, it’s a tad more complicated than that. Magnification is just one element in the equation. 10x or more isn’t going to do you much good if the image quality and reticle visibility aren’t up to par.
Image Quality and Resolution
All the magnification in the world isn’t much use if you can’t see what you’re looking at. Cheaper optics sometimes feel like looking through the bottom of a bottle, especially when cranked up to the highest magnification.
Since it is almost impossible to accurately hit what you can’t see, the optical quality of any long-range scope is of prime importance. This is particularly true for hunting and tactical applications where target identification is critical, especially when those targets tend to blend into the background.
Look for a scope made with ED (extra low dispersion) glass or better. You’ll also want that glass to be “fully multi-coated” for the best optical quality.
Most long-range scopes feature wide objective lenses, usually 44mm or larger. The objective is the lens located on the end closest to the target. The job of the objective is to let light into the optic.
A larger objective provides a wider field of view (FOV), which becomes important as you crank up the magnification. FOV is also critical for scanning distant targets.
Large objective lenses do have some drawbacks. A large lens makes the scope bulky, heavy, and cumbersome. If you need to haul your rifle long distances over rough terrain, a scope with a large objective just isn’t practical.
A quality long-range scope usually has an ample 30mm (or larger) main tube. The larger housing provides plenty of room for elevation adjustments.
To make precision shots at extreme distances, you’ll need a scope with tall, adjustable target turrets. These specialized turrets have external markings in minutes of angle (MOA) or milliradians (MIL) so you can easily adjust for bullet drop over distance. Long range shooters use target windage and elevation knobs to make ultra fine adjustments for both wind and range.
The best quality target turrets make tactile, audible clicks, so you can keep track of your adjustments without having to look at the knob.
Раrаllах is an optical effect that can throw off your shot if you aren’t careful. You experience parallax when the scope’s reticle seems to move as you shift your head. The effect can make the target position seem to swim in relation to the reticle.
Parallax usually happens when using a scope at higher magnification, which makes it a serious concern for long-range shooters.
If you opt for a variable power scope, you’ll need to adjust for parallax as you change magnification. Most high power scopes have a parallax adjustment, usually on the side of the optic. Others allow you to adjust for parallax with an adjustable objective (AO). When parallax is properly adjusted, the reticle locks into place, even if you need to shift slightly.
Best 1000 Yard Scope on the Market Reviews
1 Leupold VX-3i LRP 4.5-14×50
The Leupold VX-3i LRP is the perfect optic for making challenging 1000-yard shots. LRP stands for Long Range Precision, so you know this is a seriously capable riflescope.
The VX-3i LRP delivers match-grade accuracy and is packed with features tailored to long-range marksman. It comes with easy-to-read, zero-stop adjustment knobs and top-notch target turrets with simple, reliable ¼ MOA adjustments for windage and elevation.
Although the VX-3i LRP is relatively lightweight for an optic in this class, it is built like a tank. Its solid construction holds up in harsh conditions and endures punishing recoil without breaking a sweat. If you want a hunting scope for hard-hitters like 7mm Mag or .300 Win Mag, this scope is up to the task.
Another feature both hunters and tactical shooters will love is Leupold’s Twilight Max Light Management System. The system uses premium glass and proprietary lens coatings to provide a bright, crisp sight picture in almost any lighting condition. Twilight Max can actually extend your shooting ability in low light conditions, adding up to 20 extra minutes of visibility at the start and end of each day.
If you want to make 1000-yard shots with an optic, but want to spend under $1000, get the Leupold VX-3i LRP.
2 Primary Arms SLX 4-14×44
If you’re just getting started in long-range shooting and want an affordable, entry level optic, the Primary Arms SLX is a great option. One of the best budget scopes currently on the market, the SLX offers nice image clarity, plenty of magnification, and solid durability.
This scope features the exclusive ACSS Orion reticle. With hash marks calibrated for .308, .223, and .30-06, this detailed reticle allows for rapid ranging and wind holds on deer and coyote-sized targets. The reticle is particularly handy because the turrets on the SLX are capped and not designed for quick, easy range and wind adjustments. However, for long-range hunting, this scope easily offers the best value you’ll find for under $500.
3 Schmidt & Bender PMII 5-25×56
The Schmidt & Bender PMII is a favorite scope for police and military snipers. It is also a popular option for competition shooters. Pair this scope with a Remington 700 chambered for .308 Winchester, and you’ll become a force to be reckoned with.
The PMII has a massive magnification range and a massive objective lens. Its design also provides for wide range adjustments.
The Double Turn target turrets on this scope are some of the best in the industry. The adjustments are crisp and palpable. They also have an easy-to-see rotational indicator that conveniently changes color, so you never lose track of your rotations.
Even more impressive than the turrets is the optic’s impeccable sight picture. Schmidt & Bender uses premium glass and high-tech coatings to maximize light transmission and reduce glare. The result is razor-sharp clarity, vibrant resolution, and impressive brightness, even in low light settings.
While the S&B PMII works wonders for benchrest target shooting, that massive 56mm objective makes it clunky to lug around the backcountry. If you want a long-range optic capable of pulling double duty on the range and in the woods, this is not it.
4 Burris Xtreme Tactical XTR II 8-40×50
Although the brand is often overlooked in the company of bigger names like Zeiss, Leupold, and Swarovski, Burris riflescopes provide serious quality and performance for the money. The Burris Xtreme Tactical is one of our favorites, and when held in capable hands, it is definitely capable of 1000-yard accuracy.
This scope has exposed turrets and parallax adjustments, which are valuable assets for long-range shooters. The turrets have a zero stop feature for easy dialing without losing your cheek weld.
Magnification maxes out at an extreme 40x zoom. This level of magnification can be hard to keep stable, so you’ll definitely want to use this one from a benchrest. However, the 50mm objective lens and 34mm main tube provide a massive field of view. That ample FOV makes it easy to scan for or track targets, even at the upper end of the scope’s magnification range.
5 Nightforce Optics Precision Benchrest 12-42×56
Designed specifically for benchrest shooting, this optic from Nightforce provides insane image resolution. With high-quality, multi-coated glass, shooters can distinguish fine target details even at extreme distances.
The Precision Benchrest scope features an adjustable objective for fine parallax tuning from 25 yards to infinity. It also has premium target turrets calibrated for precise .125 MOA adjustments.
The scope also features a fast-focus eyepiece and a glass-etched illuminated reticle that is easy to see in any lighting condition.
6 Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
Zeiss riflescopes are well-known for their crisp image clarity, and the Conquest V6 definitely lives up to the company’s reputation. This scope features cutting-edge, fluoride lenses that provide up to 92 percent light transmission. All air-to-glass surfaces are covered with Zeiss’s patented T star six-layer multi-coatings which guarantees a bright, distortion-free, high-contrast sight picture, even at twilight.
The Conquest V6 is built like a tank and ready for rough weather conditions. The housing has both a hard shell and hard core and is sealed to protect delicate components from rain, snow, sweat, and moisture.
For 1000-yard shooting, the Conquest V6 has an illuminated reticle with an ultra-fine design that produces minimal target coverage, even when zoomed in on the highest power.
7 Swarovski X5i 5-25×56
Although all Swarovski scopes offer incredible quality and image clarity, the X5i has some other features that make this model a stand-out for long-range shooting.
One of the best features is the revolution windows built into the X5i’s target turrets. This unique feature displays which revolution you are on so you can easily keep track of your adjustments, even when you’ve dialed past one full turn.
The Swarovski X5i also features a handy “sub zero” option. This feature lets you dial down to 10 MOA below your zero. This makes it incredibly easy to shoot close range targets without sacrificing long-range accuracy.
8 Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical 6-24×50
The Diamondback Tactical from Vortex Optics is perfect for stretching the legs of long-range cartridges like 6.5 Creedmoor and .338 Lapua. This scope gives you plenty of magnification with up to 25x. It also has all the features you need to put lead on a 1000-yard target.
Notable features include large exposed turrets and parallax adjustment knobs. It also has a crisp, easy-to-use Ballistic Plex reticle. The reticle is located on the first focal plane, so the markings are accurate at any range and any magnification.
If you want to accurately peg targets at 1000 yards, it’s going to cost you. Not only are riflescopes capable of accuracy at that range expensive, it also takes a lot of practice to consistently pull off 1000-yard shots. That means, successful precision shots are going to cost you time, ammo, and some cold hard cash.
The best 1000 yard scope isn’t going to be cheap. Be prepared to make a solid investment if you want a solid long-range optic. However, once you ring steel, drop game, or punch a bullseye at that distance, the thrill of the accomplishment will be well worth the money spent.