Hitting a target at 1000 yards is one of those milestones that many shooters look forward to when they are looking at increasing their ability behind a rifle. It is a great feeling to hear a gong ding from such a long distance after a carefully executed shot is made, and it is one that many shooters find so appealing that they continue to hone their skills to repeat that feeling time after time.
While it does take a great deal of skill to hit a target at that range, very few are able to make a shot at that distance without the correct optic.
If you don't have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated 1000 yard scopes:
- 1Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44 – Best Hunting 1000 Yard Scope
- 2Mueller Target Rifle Scope – Best for Target Shooting
- 3Burris Optics XTR II – Best Tactical 1000 Yard Scope
- 4Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm – Best Budget
- 5Nighforce Optics 12-42x56mm BR – Best for Bench Rest
- 6Nikon X1000 – Best Nikon 1000 Yard Scope
- 7Leupold VX-5HD – Best Leupold 1000 Yard Scope
- 8Vortex Diamondback 6-24x50 – Best Vortex 1000 Yard Scope
- 9Burris Optics Veracity – Best for the Remington 700
Table of Contents
- Best Scope for 1000 Yard Shooting: What to Look for?
- Best 1000 Yard Scope on the Market Review
- 1 Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44 – Best Hunting 1000 Yard Scope
- 2 Mueller Target Rifle Scope – Best for Target Shooting
- 3 Burris Optics XTR II – Best Tactical 1000 Yard Scope
- 4 Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm – Best Budget
- 5 Nighforce Optics 12-42x56mm BR – Best for Bench Rest
- 6 Nikon X1000 – Best Nikon 1000 Yard Scope
- 7 Leupold VX-5HD – Best Leupold 1000 Yard Scope
- 8 Vortex Diamondback 6-24x50 – Best Vortex 1000 Yard Scope
- 9 Burris Optics Veracity – Best for the Remington 700
- Final Verdict
Best Scope for 1000 Yard Shooting: What to Look for?
Sometimes there can be a misconception when looking for a rifle scope for long range that you need to have the greatest available magnification to have a chance at reaching a target at 1000 yards. This is not the case, and many shooters find 9x to be more than enough and might even prefer it over some of the more extreme magnification available on many modern scopes.
I generally recommend you use a scope with at least 9x and use more if you need it to pick up the target, but keep in mind that the higher you crank up the scope, the greater the microscopic imperfections in the lenses will affect the clarity of your field of view.
There are many different preferences in reticles for long range shooting, and I would hesitate to make an argument that one is better than another. I would, however, recommend that you look for a scope with a graduated reticle to assist in making hold over adjustments to your point of aim as to relieve yourself of the need to make every adjustment on the turrets. This can become aggravating if you are compensating for changing winds or moving targets.
Another thing to make sure of is that your graduations in the reticle are the same as in the turrets; whether they are both in MOA or MRAD, make sure they match or you will have to constantly be performing math equations when converting data from your reticle into turret adjustments.
Main Tube and Objective Lens Size
The physical sizes of the scope will become more important when you start ranging out to further targets. The larger the objective lens, the wider the field of view. This is especially important when scanning for targets, whether you are in a tactical or hunting situations. Larger objective lenses also help to gather more light.
Larger main tubes allow for more elevation adjustment. A standard main tube for the majority of scopes on the market is 30mm, but sometimes this does not leave enough room for the necessary elevation adjustments for some calibers at 1000 yards. 30mm with leave plenty of room for a flat shooting cartridge like the 6.5 Creedmoor, but if you are attempting to make a 1000 yard shot with 5.56 (very challenging, but possible with the right load and barrel) you are going to want as much room for adjustment as possible.
Most of us shooting at 1000 yards are going to do so with either an intermediate or a large caliber rifle. Most of us will also be using a bolt action rifle. Both of these things mean that there will be a significant amount of recoil with each shot, and while you might not need an optic that is bomb-proof, you will be disappointed if you purchase a poorly manufactured scope that is damaged under regular use.
Best 1000 Yard Scope on the Market Review
Please use these tips when making your purchase for a 1000 yard scope, and if you need somewhere to get started we have several of our recommendations below.
1 Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44 – Best Hunting 1000 Yard Scope
Primary Arms is a company that frequently shows up on these lists, and for good reason. The SLX series of optics is a great line that offers high quality lenses and rugged construction.
This scope has plenty of magnification to clearly make your target at ranges up to, and beyond, 1000 yards. The reticle is graduated, and it is calibrated for 30-06 which is a cartridge that is very capable of reaching out to long ranges. The reticle will be very helpful when ranging out in hunting situations as the turrets are capped.
Capped turrets are not always the ideal situation for hitting targets up to 1000 yards, but in hunting situations this is a feature that can be overlooked because you may not have time to fully calculate DOPE for a target that might only be available for a short amount of time.
2 Mueller Target Rifle Scope – Best for Target Shooting
This scope is a great option for those on a budget who enjoy target shooting from a rest. The magnification ranges from 8-32 power, which will offer more than enough magnification to clearly make out any target at 1000 yards and beyond. The mil-dot reticle will help for hold-over at range and assist in range estimation.
Exposed turrets and parallax adjustment will make DOPE adjustments easy on the shooter. One of the biggest reasons we recommend this scope for bench rest shooters is the weight of the optic. This scope weighs in at more than 1.6 pounds; this can be helpful in settling the rifle and absorbing recoil, but between the weight and the size of the optic it will not be a great option to mount on a rifle that you plan on carrying in the field.
3 Burris Optics XTR II – Best Tactical 1000 Yard Scope
When conducting research for this article, I was surprised by this scope. Usually I save my tactical scope recommendations for brands such as Leopold or Zeiss, but I was just thoroughly impressed with the features and capabilities of this scope that lend it perfectly for tactical applications.
This scope has exposed turrets and parallax adjustments, which are common for scopes that you would want to use at long ranges. The turrets also have zero stops which make it extremely practical for making adjustments without lifting your head from behind the optic, or when making adjustments in low light conditions.
The magnification maxes out at an extremely high 40x zoom. The 50mm objective lens paired with the 34mm main tube will offer the shooter a wide field of view in the optic, which is something that is very important in tactical applications when you are scanning for targets or tracking a target on the move.
4 Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm – Best Budget
Primary Arms makes the list again, but this time it’s for the incredible value you get with this scope. It can be difficult to find a scope capable of standing the test of time and the rigors of intermediate cartridge recoil, but you can rest assured that a Primary Arms product will be built to last.
This optic offers plenty of magnification for 1000 yard shots, and the exposed turrets and parallax adjustments will give you the opportunity to dial in your DOPE. The turrets make very precise ¼ MOA adjustments with tactile and audible clicks to assist in making adjustments without picking your head up from behind the scope.
For a scope to be this capable at this price point, there has to be a place to cut manufacturing costs. This comes in the form of the reticle being placed in the second focal plane. I normally prefer first focal plane scopes, but at this price point it is forgivable. You will need to make sure your scope is at maximum magnification if you plan on using the graduations in the reticle because of the second focal plane reticle, but if you are using the turrets to make your adjustments and holding center mass on your target for all of your shots, this won’t be an issue.
5 Nighforce Optics 12-42x56mm BR – Best for Bench Rest
For those who demand the very best in precision in their optic, this is the scope to use. This scope is built from the ground up specifically to meet the demands of bench rest shooters, where every fraction of an inch is crucial for maximum consistency and accuracy. With this optic, you can be sure that any variation between shots is not due to the scope.
Large exposed turrets and a parallax adjustment are exactly where you would expect them to be on a Nightforce scope. What makes this scope ideal for bench rest application is the .125 MOA adjustment per click of the turrets, offering some of the most precise adjustments available in rifle optics from any scope on the market. The scope weighs well over three pounds, making it ideal for stationary shooters but would probably make most hunters or tactical shooters look elsewhere for their rifle optic.
6 Nikon X1000 – Best Nikon 1000 Yard Scope
For those who are fans of Nikon optics, or those who are looking for a mid-level scope to help them reach out to 1000 yards, this is our best recommendation. Nikon offers great clarity in their lenses with high tech coatings and a very fine grind, and they have always been known as a great option for those who appreciate clear and accurate glass on their rifle.
The scope also features large exposed turrets and parallax adjustment that are placed exactly where you would expect them on most scopes designed to input DOPE for your long range targets. 6-24x magnification will ensure that you have more than enough zoom to pick up your targets in the scope for those far targets. The scope also comes with your choice of MRAD or MOA calibrated reticles to suit your preference.
7 Leupold VX-5HD – Best Leupold 1000 Yard Scope
When the talking about scopes for long range shooting, the conversation would be remiss if it did not include at lease one Leupold product. Leupold is known for their superior glass and military grade durability in their products. This scope also has features that make it desirable for tactical, target, or hunting applications alike.
The 3-15x magnification is great for 1000 yard targets. There are five different reticle options available which makes it a great option for nearly any preference. The illuminated reticle is fitted with a motion sensor that will power down the illumination to save battery but will instantly power back on if the scope is moved so there will be no inconvenience to the shooter. The turrets are relatively low profile, which can be nice for hunters or tactical use as they are less likely to get caught on equipment when on the move.
8 Vortex Diamondback 6-24x50 – Best Vortex 1000 Yard Scope
Vortex is a great manufacture that blends quality, durability, and value into their products. The Diamondback ticks all of these boxes and gives you, as a shooter, the ability to reach out to long ranges for under $500.
Premium components make this scope rugged enough for hunting or tactical applications, while the superb glass gives the shooter a crystal-clear image of the target. The exposed turrets offer tactile and audible clicks to give the shooter feedback when making adjustments behind the scope. The 30mm main tube is standard, and it might be nice to have a larger size for extreme ranges, but it is perfectly applicable for 1000 yard shots with most intermediate to large caliber rifles.
9 Burris Optics Veracity – Best for the Remington 700
For those who want to buy a rifle off of the shelf and be able to hit targets at long ranges, you could certainly do worse than the Remington 700 in many of its factory configurations. This is an excellent scope to marry with that rifle to help you reach to 1000 yards. This scope gives you plenty of magnification with up to 25x and has all of the features you would need in a long range rifle scope.
Exposed turrets and parallax adjustments are large and exactly where you would expect them. MOA adjustments will make most American shooters feel right at home. The Burris Ballistic Plex E1 reticle in the first focal plane will also assist shooters in making their corrections to point of aim.
While reaching that 1000 yard milestone is something that many shooters struggle with, having the right equipment makes the job much easier. While there are many optics available that have enticing packaging or make impressive claims, there are some things that you need to look for in a scope to ensure you are getting the right tool for the job. This guide should go a long ways towards getting you started on the the 1000 yard journey.
Having the best scope for 1000 yard stare might be one of the most important pieces of your equipment for long-range rifle shooting. For those who looking for more high-end long range scope options from the very best brands like Schmidt & Bender, Zeiss, Swarovski...etc, I would suggest go on over to the IOutdoorPursuit and check out their list of the top 18 long range scopes from Mark Grimsley! Get your hands on the best one you can afford, and start lobbing rounds down range!