Best Long Range Scope Under $1000 Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Standard scopes work well at certain distances, but a long range scope will work best. Here is our review of the top long range scopes.

Whether you are a target shooter or hunter, you want to bring out the best in your rifle. Standard scopes work well at certain distances, but if you want to expand the capabilities of your rifle, consider a long range scope.

There are plenty of long range scopes on the market manufactured by well-known tactical companies and loaded with impressive specs. But these can cost thousands of dollars, which is out of range for many shooters.

Here, we have compiled the top five best long range scopes under $1,000. These scopes include the most important features such as durability and comfort with an affordable price point.

Choosing the right scope is ultimately up to you and depends on your shooting style and preference, but we hope this buyer’s guide can answer some of your questions and help you in your search.

Top 5 Best Long Range Scopes Under $1000

1. Nikon Black X1000 – Best Overall

The Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL X-MRAD is a great scope for both target shooting and hunting. This scope has a 30 mm tube made out of aircraft grade aluminum with a hard anodized finish.

The fully multi-coated lenses provide excellent light transmission, and the included 4-inch sunshade helps eliminate glare and sun spots. The Nikon has a 50 mm objective lens and a 3.5 inch eye relief as well.

The Nikon Black X1000 has 6-24x magnification and an illuminated X-MRAD second focal plane reticle with 10 brightness levels. The turrets feature crisp clicks and stops with spring loaded instant zero resets, making for an easier user experience.

Likewise, the parallax adjustment is turret-mounted to the side of the scope, which allows the shooter to fine tune the sight image without changing their position.

This scope is our number one choice because of its versatility and durability. It can handle any shooting application, caliber, or ballistic. The Nikon is also waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof and backed by a lifetime repair and replacement policy.

  • Versatile – great for any type of shooting
  • Crisp turret clicks and stops
  • Instant zero reset
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Durability
  • Lifetime repair and replacement policy
  • Second focal plane may be an issue for some users
  • Users report the hash marks on the turret do not line up perfectly with marks on the body
  • 3.5 inch eye relief is shorter than other scopes

2. Vortex Optics Viper PST First Focal Plane Riflescope 4-16×50 – Best for Tactical Shooting

The Vortex Optics Viper is a great scope designed for precision tactical shooting. The 30 mm tube is one piece of aircraft grade aluminum with a hard anodized finish.

It is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof with a scratch-resistant coating on the exterior lenses.

This scope has 4-16x magnification. The tactical turrets all have clear markings and serrations, so shooters can easily adjust in any weather without moving their eyes from the scope.

The Vortex Viper has a 50 mm objective lens diameter with a fully multi-coated lens for better lighting. Shooters have 4.0 inches of eye relief and a field of view of 27.4 – 7.4 ft at 100 yards.

This scope has a first focal plane EBR-1 MRAD reticle, so there are hash marks at each full milliradian and half milliradian. For high quality durability, the reticle is protected between two layers of glass. The illuminated reticle is a nice option in low light conditions and has 10 adjustable brightness levels.

Backed by a lifetime warranty, the Vortex Optics Viper PST Scope is an extremely durable, feature-rich scope for precision shooters.

  • Great for tactical shooting
  • Tactical turrets with clear markings and serrations
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Durability
  • Lifetime warranty

Resetting to zero requires additional tools

Some users had issues with image distortion at high magnifications

3. SWFA SS 10×42 Tactical Riflescope Mil-Quad Reticle 1/10 Mil Adjustments Rear Focus SS10X42MQ – Best Fixed Scope

The SWFA SS is a 10x magnification scope – the only fixed scope on this list. Fixed scopes are not for everyone, but they are lighter in weight, mechanically simpler, and more durable.

They are also easier to adjust and dial in because you only have to deal with one magnification level instead of several.

This scope has a 30 mm tube diameter made of single piece aluminum with a rough matte finish. The objective lens of this scope is 49.5 mm. It has a field of view of 11.8 ft at 100 yards and a 3.9 in eye relief.

The SWFA SS has a MIL Quad reticle and a rear parallax adjustment. The tactical turrets provide both a tactile and auditory feedback for shooters.

The SWFA SS is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof with fully multi-coated lenses. It can be used with .50 caliber ammunition, which is rare for a scope at this price point. At only 18.7 oz, it is one of the lightest weight scopes on this list, but one of the most durable.

  • Fixed scope is preferrable for some shooters
  • Tactical turrets
  • Durability
  • Lightweight
  • No direction indicators visible from behind the scope, so shooters have to memorize which way they adjusted the turrets
  • Fixed scope is not preferrable for many shooters
  • 4-inch sunshade is not removeable

4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO, SFP Riflescope – Most Versatile

The Vortex Crossfire II is a versatile scope for both hunting and tactical shooting. Made of hard anodized aluminum, the Crossfire is o-ring sealed for waterproof and fogproof durability.

This scope has a 50 mm objective lens diameter and 6-24x magnification. The fully multi-coated lenses have anti-reflective coatings, which allow for more light transmission.

The reticle is in the second focal plane, and the field of view is 17.3 – 4.4 ft at 100 yards. A 4 inch eye relief provides ample and comfortable room for shooters.

Vortex scopes feature fast focus eye pieces that allow for quicker shooting, which is ideal for hunters. The Crossfire II also features capped turrets, which provide external protection and enable the shooter to instant reset to zero without tools. Backed by a lifetime warranty, the Vortex Crossfire is a reliable and versatile choice for any shooter.

  • Versatile – good for both tactical shooting and hunting
  • Capped turrets
  • Instant zero reset
  • Fast focus eye piece
  • Durability
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Users reported lower quality image with increased magnification
  • Cold weather can cause the lens to fog
  • Not recommended on high caliber weapons

5. Primary Arms 4-16×44 SFP Rifle Scope – Illuminated MIL-DOT Reticle – Best for Beginners

The Primary Arms Scope is the least expensive scope on this list, and is a great option for new shooters. It has a 30 mm aluminum tube with an anodized matte finish.

This is a second focal plane scope with 4-16x magnification and an illuminated Mil-Dot reticle with 12 brightness settings. It has a field of view of 26.19 – 6.98 ft at 100 yards and 3.5 inch eye relief.

This scope has locking turrets that reset to zero and a side-mounted parallax adjustment knob. The objective lens diameter is 44 mm.

At 23.5 oz, the Primary Arms scope is a bit heavy for its price, but shooters report excellent durability with this waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof scope.

  • Low price
  • Mil-Dot reticle is preferential for some shooters
  • Locking turrets
  • Not compatible with night vision
  • Heavy for a scope low in features
  • Zero reset requires tools

Other Best Selling Scopes

Bestseller No. 1
Ade Advanced Optics 6-25x56 35mm Long Range Rifle Scope Mil-dot Bar Side Focus
  • Heavy duty one piece main tube provides the foundation for precise lens alignment and other components
  • Extended-range tactical riflescope with 6-25x magnification and 56mm objective lens
  • Mil-DotBar reticle; precision controls with 140 MOA adjustment
  • The use of water resistant sealants, synthetic grease and secure O-ring seals protect against fogging
  • 35mm tube diameter; includes mounting rings; matte black finish
Bestseller No. 2
Sniper KT 12-60X60 SAL Long Range Rifle Scope 35mm Tube Side Parallax Adjustment Glass Etched Reticle Red Green Illuminated with Scope Rings
  • Side Parallax Adjustment
  • 35mm Tube Size
  • RG Illuminated Glass Etched Reticle
  • Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with 1/8 MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in.
  • Nitrogen purged scope body, completely sealed with o-ring, rendering scope Waterproof, and fog proof
Bestseller No. 3
Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 5-25x56 First Focal Plane Riflescope - EBR-7C Reticle (MOA)
  • The Strike Eagle 5-25x56 First Focal Plane (MOA) riflescope provides the features needed to improve your long distance shooting.
  • XD Optical System delivers impressive resolution, edge-to-edge sharpness and greatly reduces chromatic abberation. Anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces provide superior light transmission for exceptional clarity and low-light performance.
  • The RevStop Zero System offers an easy to set, rock-solid return to zero after turret adjustments. Tactical locking turrets prevent accidental adjustments and provides fast, accurate adjustments.
  • An illuminated reticle eases use in low light and against dark backgrounds. The included throw lever can be installed for quick and easy magnification adjustments.
  • The scopes are nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed the for water and fogproof performance. The one-piece, aircraft grade aluminum, 34mm tube is shockproof, shrugging off recoil and other impacts.

Why should I buy a long range scope?


Accuracy becomes increasingly difficult as your range increases. Without a scope, certain ranges are out of consideration for most shooters. Scopes improve the view of the target and can even improve your shooting skills over time as you become more confident and fine-tuned.

Longer Range

Long range scopes allow you to be farther away from the target while still maintaining quality visibility. For hunters, these scopes are incredibly useful as they can maintain a safe distance from potentially dangerous predators. Long range scopes also provide you the time to take a comfortable and well-adjusted shot.

Better Scores

Using a scope for target shooting allows you to see the target better and shoot more accurately. For most target shooters, shooting at a long distance without a scope is often a waste of time and bullets. Scopes are meant as a tool for the shooter. As you learn to shoot with the scope, you will become more confident and your scores will improve.

Things You Should Know Before Buying A Long Range Scope

Long Range Scope Under $1000Material

The material of the the scope is partially what dictates its durability. Aluminum is a common and preferred material among users for its light carrying weight and durability.


A reticle is the crosshair that appears through the scope. Reticles can appear on the first or second focal plane. First focal plane (FFP) scopes increase the size of the reticle as the magnification increases. Second focal plane (SFP) scopes maintain the size of the reticle no matter the magnification.


The level of magnification depends on your shooting purpose and caliber. Hunting scopes need less magnification to allow for a wider field of view and more light to enter the scope, which is important for low light situations. 4x – 16x is the typical range for hunting scopes.

Target shooting scopes range usually from 16 – 32x magnification. Such high levels require better optics to make the image clear. They also let in less light. Depending on how powerful your rifle is, you may need additional stabilization at this level of magnification.

Lens Coating

There are four types of lens coating – Coated Lenses have a single chemical coating on the lens, Fully Coated Lenses have a single chemical coat applied to all optical surfaces, Multi-Coated Lenses have multiple layers of chemical coatings on the lens, and Fully Multi-Coated Lenses have multiple layers of chemical coatings to all optical surfaces.

As you move from Coated to Fully Multi-Coated Lenses, the price and quality of the scope will increase.

Target Turrets

Target turrets are the knobs on the outside of the scope. Often called the windage and elevation knobs, target turrets adjust the point of aim by moving the reticle up, down, and sideways. This raises and lowers the bullet’s point of impact. Turrets have a variety of markings and friction settings, so it will depend on your preference when you’re choosing a scope.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the distance between the ocular lens and the eye where the full field of view is visible. The more powerful your rifle, the higher the recoil, and the more eye relief you will need.

Long Range Scope
Improve accuracy with a long range scope

Long Range Scope FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions about long range scopes.

What does long range mean?

This depends on the caliber of weapon you use. You can search databases for what long range means for your rifle based on the ballistics you’re using. It can range from 150 – 1,000 yards.

What magnification should I get?

This depends on what you are shooting and how far away it is. Long range shots usually require at least 10x magnification with target shooting requiring 20+x.

The higher the magnification, the heavier and more expensive the lens will be. Evaluate your shooting needs first and then decide on the proper scope.

Why is the objective lens important?

The objective lens is what gathers light that creates the image you see through the scope. The larger the lens, the more light you will get. Similar to the magnification, you should not get an objective lens that is too big as it could throw off your weight.

Our Final Take

Rifle scopes can greatly improve your shooting performance whether you are a target shooter or hunter. Choosing the right one will depend on your priorities and which specifications are most important to you. There are many scopes out there under $1,000 that did not make this list, but if you choose one of the 5 scopes above, you will be making a great addition to your shooting setup no matter what.

Jake is an explorer, he loves all types of outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing & hiking. Jake has been a full-time writer & blogger for many years now and he's here to share his passions with the BeActiveOutdoors readers. Contact

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