The next natural step for any aspiring hunter or shooting enthusiast would be to try their hand at shooting longer distances.
And what better challenge than to shoot at 1000 yards!
1000-yard scopes are an EXCELLENT choice for hunters who want to take their hunting game to the next level without spooking their prey.
I’ve collected a list of the best long-range scopes that can make a 1000-yard target seem like fish in a barrel!
- 8 Best 1000-Yard Scopes – Full Reviews
- What Is a 1000-Yard Scope or Long Range Scope?
- How to Choose the Best 1000-Yard Scope
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
8 Best 1000-Yard Scopes – Full Reviews
1. Vortex Viper PST Gen II
Vortex has been known all-around as one of the BEST 1000-yard scope and sight makers out there!
And the Viper PST Gen II is no exception!
The Viper PST Gen II is one such long-range scope that features great tactical features while coming at an AFFORDABLE price.
One of the main features is its first focal plane lens, popular with some shooters like myself due to its adapting plane reticle size.
Expect a much more PRECISE shot depending on the magnification you’re using on the first focal plane reticle, which ranges from 1x to 6x magnification.
The Viper PST Gen II hunting scope can help, especially when you find yourself shifting target distances, which makes my hunting sessions A LOT easier.
The plane reticle on this 1000-yard scope also has laser-etched turrets for windage and elevation adjustment and parallax adjustment to help you shoot at a long distance.
To help keep track of the position of your adjustment turrets, a fiber optic rotation indication is included in the illuminated reticle on the Vortex Optics Viper scope.
Accuracy was never an issue for me, as holding zero is made easier with the RZR zero-stop.
This best 1000-yard scope keeps several hold positions to help maintain proper accuracy without introducing clutter to your field of view.
I was happy that the lenses have extra-low dispersion glass, which helps color appear CLEARER and LESS DISTORTED.
These high-quality lenses are also water-proof and fog-proof, handy for keeping moisture out of your sights.
However, the eye relief fell just a little bit short at around 3.2-3.4 inches.
The Viper PST Gen II comes at less than $1000, which is a great price for the number of features it has.
In my experience, scopes of this quality usually hit the $1000 mark or higher.
It’s definitely worth the price, especially since you’ll be getting the full lifetime warranty from Vortex Optics.
This additional customer support is definitely very handy if ever you discover a manufacturer’s defect down the line. You don’t even need a receipt!
- Many features at a good price-point
- Reliable full-time warranty for returns and repairs
- Clean field of view
- Perfect for long-distance shooting
- Eye relief can be a bit tricky
2. Nightforce Optics NXS
“Rugged, Reliable, Repeatable” is the motto that first appears when you first try to search for Nightforce Optics.
The Nightforce Optics NXS series is their most popular long-range rifle scope.
Its standout features for me are the several reticle options and limited lifetime warranty, but there’s more to it than just those!
For starters, I appreciate the broad magnification range, which ranges from a 5.5x magnification to a whopping 22x magnification, plus generous 3.7-inch eye relief.
And as a fan of precision shooting, these numbers are great to have!
I can also enjoy super clear and color-accurate images, thanks to their precisely-manufactured air-to-glass technology and multi-coated lenses.
It uses a second focal plane design, which keeps the reticle static while changing magnification levels.
Optical Indexing also keeps the objective lens perfectly aligned to the rifle scope to get the best performance possible!
I noticed this mostly during low-light scenarios over a long period of time using the scope’s second focal plane.
Like many of my favorite scopes, the Nightforce NXS series boasts extreme ruggedness and reliability, which helps when I’m handling rifles with larger calibers.
Admittedly, the Nightforce Optics NXS is far from a budget scope.
It costs a little less than $2000 on the account it’s often used for military and professional gear.
Despite that, the NXS is a WORTH-IT 1000-yard rifle scope (some would say 2000 yards) due to its technology, top-quality magnification, and wide range of magnification settings.
If you feel like dropping a thousand dollars on a scope that will probably last you the lifespan of three lesser scopes, the Nightforce Optics NXS is it!
- Top-quality construction
- Great value (lasts you a long time)
- Adaptable to many rifles for easy switch-outs
- Broad magnification range for image quality
- Multi-coated lenses
- The second focal plane may not be popular with newer shooters
3. Mueller 8x-32x Target Rifle Scope
Mueller specializes in what I’d call quality “budget scopes.”
They are a home-grown brand that constantly upgrades and evolves their products according to the feedback they collate.
And they do it at SUPER LOW prices!
The Mueller 8x-32x Target Rifle is a no-frills quality rifle scope for someone looking for an entry-level scope for some long-range action.
The Mueller Target Rifle Scope is a great 1000-yard scope with a solid magnification of 8-32x, giving a great field of view at well over 1000 yards.
It features a micro-fine crosshair with a standard target reticle, plus side focus parallax adjustment and standard target turrets to help you focus at 1000 yards.
Despite its low price, the Mueller boasts multi-coated optics for better visibility and protection against glare and fog.
It’s constructed from a one-piece 30mm mounting tube and has a generous eye relief of 4 inches.
I’d say it’s perfect for BEGINNERS who need a bit more space between them and most long-range scopes.
I must add that this scope is quite heavy and may not handle heavy-caliber rifles that well.
A large part of what makes this scope so exceptional does boil down to its price.
It costs you less than $300 to purchase this scope, which is a fraction of what the other long-range scopes on this list cost.
It’s a tough, reliable scope that can remain accurate at 1000 yards and doesn’t break the bank. Count me in.
- No-frills design keeps things simple
- The cheapest scope on the list
- Good field of view for 1000 yards
- A bit heavy considering its size
- May not handle heavier caliber rifles
4. Nikon Black FX1000
» DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER «
I can’t have a list of scopes without mentioning the OG lens maker, Nikon.
The Nikon Black FX1000 is their top-rated 1000-yard scope due to its attention to detail and top-quality design.
I should mention that Nikon has discontinued making riflescopes, so you should get your hands on one while you can.
The illuminated, glass-etched reticle ensures accuracy despite low-light shooting conditions.
The range of the scope’s magnification starts at a standard 4x magnification up to a long-distance shooting appropriate 16x magnification.
It uses Nikon’s Black FX-MOA reticle, a highly detailed first focal plane reticle, which adapts your focus depending on the magnification.
You’ll have your high-speed adjustment turrets with an integral zero stop that can help with quick windage and elevation adjustments.
A quick focus eyepiece and side focus parallax adjustment keep eye focus and target acquisition quick without changing positions.
Nikon uses their O-ring seal to ensure the lenses are rugged enough to take on the elements, meaning the standard water-proof, fog-proof, and shock-proof.
One thing to look out for, though, is eye relief.
While this is a common issue I’ve run into and very dependent on the type of shooter, one of the main selling points for the riflescope is that it has a “generous eye relief.”
I’m not saying that the Nikon Black FX1000 has terrible eye relief, but long ranges may be difficult to focus on if you’re expecting something on the high-end of eye relief distances.
Additionally, its black reticle may be difficult to use in low light.
If you can find one still in stock somewhere, it usually goes for close to $600, a great price for the quality of the scope.
Buyer be warned: Nikon has recently announced that they had planned to halt production of riflescopes back in 2020. So expect to see some on the secondary market for slightly higher than retail.
Still, it’s worth mentioning that this long-range scope is a high-quality and overall great scope. Searching for this can be worth the hassle!
- Advanced Nikon optics technology
- Rugged and tough design
- Mid-range price
- Good MOA adjustment
- Tricky eye relief compared to similar rifle scopes
- The black reticle may be tricky to use in low-light
5. Burris Optics Veracity
Burris Optics is another source for sniper scopes for both competition shooters or just casual target shooting.
You can pick amongst different reticle options to get the scope and reticle type that is best for you.
For this review, I’ll look at the 5-25x magnification range rifle scope.
The Burris Optics Veracity comes in 3 different reticle options:
- SCR MOA reticle
- Classic Ballistic Plex reticle
- Customized Ballistic Plex reticle.
Personally, I like the SCR reticle due to the many range and windage markers for easy range finding.
The crosshairs are fairly thick and flare away from the center, which should help in performance in dimly lit scenarios.
The Veracity features a quick zero-stop return to zero function, which is useful to quickly bring your scope back to zero through this turrets feature.
NOTE: This may cause you to accidentally return your scope to zero via the quick return turrets function when you least need it to, something tricky when regularly adjusting for your target and your zoom range.
The scope is built from a single piece and treated with nitrogen, a standard practice in making a good scope much better in keeping moisture out.
It’s primarily built to withstand a good amount of punishment, which in my experience, ranges from dings and scratches to constant vibrations from shooting.
However, I struggled a bit when I tried zeroing at shorter distances, so keep that in mind.
The Burris Optics Veracity comes at roughly $900, a bit steep but hardly the several-thousand-dollar price tags you see on some higher-end riflescopes.
Additionally, Burris Optics throws in a lifetime warranty with every purchase, which covers damage or manufacturer defect at NO extra cost.
Long-range shooting is certainly MUCH EASIER with a sturdy scope from Burris by my side.
- Single piece construction keeps scope sturdy
- Many variants to choose from
- Lifetime warranty
- Has MOA adjustment
- Difficult for some to zero and use in close-range scenarios
6. Nightforce ATACR 5-25 x 56
Of course, I had to add another Nightforce scope to this list.
The Nightforce ATACR is probably one of the best scopes, if not THE best scope on the market right now!
I think the fact that the USMC uses this for their sniper load-outs goes to show why this scope is a top option for discerning shooters.
The Nightforce ATACR is a fantastic sniper scope with an impressive range and FFP reticle performance for optimal field of view.
Nightforce calls this their ultimate low-power variable scope due to its bright day illumination, intelligent night-illuminated reticle, and optional night vision mode.
The variable range and daylight visible red dot reticle allow for quick close-quarter competitive shooting engagements that require rapid adjustments on the spot.
Yet, unlike a traditional red dot scope, you can manage extended ranges with its magnification range that reaches up to 8x magnification for precise long-range shooting.
The low-profile turret adjustments are capped to make sure you don’t accidentally adjust these while using the scope.
This feature is something I never knew I needed.
I’m in awe of the construction itself due to its bomb-proof design, almost as if these scopes are meant to be as tough as the soldier using them!
The most surprising part? It’s INCREDIBLY LIGHT at just 21 ounces and compact at just 10 inches long!
This scope is a lot of things, but I must warn you: it’s not cheap and may be limited to some of the more seasoned shooters.
This scope can knock you back $3100 at retail price, similar to scopes manufactured by OG optics manufacturer Trijicon.
Like Trijicon, you’re investing in the long-lasting quality and shooting performance that the Nightforce ATACR can get you.
It comes with the Nightforce warranty, so you don’t need to worry about it breaking down without hope of repair (if ever a scope like this can even break easily).
If you have the money to spend on a high-quality scope and are specifically looking for the features found in the ATACR, you won’t regret investing.
- Extremely durable despite lightweight and compact design
- Adaptable to different target conditions
- Low-profile turrets keep adjustments easy and secure
- Optimal field of view even in low light conditions
- Not as long-range in terms of magnification as the other scopes on the list
7. Leupold VX-5HD Side Focus Scope
The Leupold VX series is a range of riflescopes that differ in magnification intensity and usage, with the VX-5HD version being one of the more popular scopes out there.
You can check out this guide to see how well Leupold compares against Vortex!
Each Leupold VX-5HD variant comes in zoom ratios of 5:1, meaning depending on the starting zoom level, you can achieve 5 times that in terms of magnification capability.
For this scope, I will be viewing the 3x-15x magnification version.
The Leupold Professional Grade Optical System provides FANTASTIC objective lens quality!
I’ve struggled with harsh light messing with my image quality, but this feature compensates for that!
Another unique goodie is the Guard-Ion coating, which gives the objective lens a hydrophobic quality to shed dirt and water,
Thanks to this, I can REDUCE overall maintenance and repair needed for the scope!
The CDS-ZL2 dial helps provide two revolutions for windage and elevation adjustment while getting rid of any accidental turret movement with the push-button ZeroLock system for an easy return to zero.
The scope is battery-powered, providing reticle illumination in any scenario.
The scope also includes built-in motion sensors that help extend battery life.
They monitor when the illuminated reticle can deactivate when no movement is detected from the rifle.
This rifle scope is priced below $1000, but in my opinion, a lot of its features ought to propel the price past the thousand-dollar mark.
It’s a rugged and reliable rifle that includes Leupold’s warranty guarantee for any repairs you may need down the line.
If you’re a sucker for heritage, a brand that made scopes for all of the early 20th century and continues on until today is as historical as you can get in terms of a rifle scope.
- Motion-activated sensors help conserve battery life
- Illuminated reticle keeps sight useful even in the dimmest of light conditions
- Great zoom-ratio for better variable long-range shooting
- Easy to use
- Battery management can still be tricky on the field
8. Steiner T5Xi
Steiner’s long history in optics development gave them insight and expertise in developing some of the most ADVANCED optics today.
The Steiner uses this technological advantage to its benefit.
The T5xi comes in a variety of zoom levels for the best long-range experience you can have at the 1000-yard line.
The Steiner T5xi comes in variants of zoom level with a ratio of 5:1. It starts from 1-5x magnification all the way up to 5-25x magnification,
With this range, making the 1000 yards is much more manageable with its generous field of view.
I’m grateful they included a throw lever to make switching magnification easy to do on the fly.
It uses an illuminated SCR reticle that was designed to shoot at 1000 yards in mind and includes 13 different brightness levels!
The reticle markings are very detailed for easier range finding!
I also like the turret adjustments because they’re finely tuned and have easy-to-set turrets for back-to-zero settings.
Their optics have been battle-tested, so quality is no issue here, especially in terms of durability and clarity.
The pressure-sealed one-piece tube construction protects against both environmental damage and user-generated damage like shock and large-caliber use.
It also remains waterproof up to 33 feet!
It uses CR2450 batteries, a much more common battery type than what other scopes use, which should make battery management on the field much easier.
This 1000-yard score comes in within the $2000 mark, which may scare off some of the newer target shooters reading this.
The Steiner T5xi was built with competition shooters in mind, so it’s no surprise that it’s priced according to its capability at 1000 yards.
Still, the Steiner T5xi series is probably one of the best 1000-yard rifle scopes out there.
If the price wasn’t such a barrier, I’m sure most people would choose to have a Steiner scope on their rifle any day!
- High-quality pressure-sealed construction
- The common battery makes power management easier
- Finely tuned turrets make adjustments easier at 1000 yards
- Magnification is strongest at 25x, while other scopes can reach 32x
What Is a 1000-Yard Scope or Long Range Scope?
A long-range rifle scope is a scope that’s capable of hitting a target at least 1000 yards away.
You’ve probably seen these in movies and TV shows with a long-ranged sniper character.
In reality, these are finely tuned scopes that enable shooters to hit targets from distances not possible with an ordinary red dot sight.
As with any advanced tech, the best 1000-yard scopes come with multiple features to keep your shot accurate at the farthest distances.
You can also get yourself a new rangefinder scope for long-range shooting!
Lenses on scopes are split into two distinct areas: the Objective and Ocular Lenses.
The objective lens is the lens at the end of the scope (meaning opposite the eyepiece) and mainly directs the light transmission towards the Ocular Lens.
PRO TIP: A large objective lens diamater means more light transmission and better image clarity.
This is all housed in the part of the scope called the Objective Bell.
The ocular lens is found on the eyepiece proper, and its ability to focus is mainly based on the designated eye relief or distance of the scope eyepiece to your eye for the correct focus.
I recommend keeping a good amount of space between your eyes and the eyepiece since using a scope too close can give you a nasty scope bite.
The turrets are the three knobs you find in the middle of the scope.
This allows you to adjust your scope reticle properly in accordance with three factors: Windage, Elevation, and Parallax.
- Windage turrets position your crosshairs in respect to the wind movement (particularly the direction the wind is blowing).
- Elevation turrets can help mitigate bullet drop for shots well over 1000 yards.
- Parallax is a more specific turret adjustment as this pertains to the difference in optical depth as the target moves versus your natural head movement.
Note that an illumination turret may or may not be included depending on how your scope is powered (fiber optic or battery).
Some riflescopes have fixed parallax but understanding how parallax can affect your accuracy is key to a good long-range shot.
Now, the main body of your scope is as INTEGRAL to your shooting performance as all the other parts I’ve mentioned above.
This includes your magnification dial for zoom variations, fast focus adjustments, battery management, and other scope auxiliary features.
A key aspect of the body should be its overall construction and durability.
Some of the best 1000-yard rifle scopes utilize aircraft-grade aluminum alloy for its durability and lightweight, but some use different materials and achieve the same toughness.
When you start using higher-caliber rifles, this same ruggedness of the aircraft-grade aluminum will keep your riflescope accurate!
Scopes without proper shock-proof design will find themselves inaccurate after a few shots from a powerful rifle.
The environment plays a part here as well!
Your scope should be able to withstand environmental changes, especially those concerning moisture.
A scope with moisture penetration will just give you a hazy sight, rendering it useless for far targets when sighting.
How to Choose the Best 1000-Yard Scope
1000 yards is a tough distance to shoot from, which means you will need the BEST scope possible.
Here are a few considerations when choosing the best one for you.
First, you have to determine WHAT KIND of shooting you want to do.
You may want a 1000-yard scope for competitive shooting, or maybe you are still a beginner and just want to start target shooting right out of the gate.
Either way, knowing what your real intended purpose is for using a 1000-yard scope will make these search a lot easier.
Since 1000 yards is quite the distance, it’s important to know how much scope magnification you need to land accurate shots.
Some scopes go for magnification ranges of 12x-20x, while others range longer, from around 3x-25x.
My rule of thumb is a magnification of AT LEAST 18x is good enough, but that also depends on the shooter.
It’s also important to note that a higher magnification means less field of view, so hunting moving targets may be more difficult.
In my experience, it was quite trial and error to find that sweet spot of just the right scope magnification and enough field of view.
Objective Lens Diameter
The larger the objective lens diameter, the better the light transmission of the scope, which means the more visible the image.
I recommend a diameter of at least 50 mm for optimal clarity.
A fully multi-coated lens will also be very useful as it protects the glass and keeps it clear so you can see your image with no distractions.
Since there are many different reticles for different purposes, you must find one that fits best with your intended purpose.
For example, a standard crosshair is fine for 1000 yards, but there are better alternatives.
I recommend going for a MOA reticle or an illuminated reticle, with the latter being super helpful in low-light situations.
Additionally, it is important to differentiate between a first focal plane (FFP) and a second focal plane (SFP) reticle.
An FFP reticle increases in size as magnification increases, while an SFP reticle stays the same regardless of magnification.
In my experience, an FFP is better for 1000 yards because it helps with accuracy and precision.
While you’re out on the field, your scope will take a lot of beatings, which is why a strong, durable scope is what you need.
Most scopes are made of aircraft-grade aluminum, which is strong enough to withstand extreme weather conditions.
More often than not, scopes with this material are also waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof.
I’ve dropped and hit my scopes on things several times, and I’ve never had issues because of how durable it is.
You want a scope that will last a long time, too!
Since 1000 yards can be difficult to shoot from, you will have to make a lot of adjustments here and there.
It is important to find accurate turrets for windage and elevation to land accurate shots. A parallax adjustment knob will also help reduce misses.
It’s better to find turrets with audible, tactile clicks, so it removes the need for guessing.
Finally, you can’t ignore how much you will spend!
In my experience, 1000-yard scopes are quite pricey, with some of the options on this list reaching almost $1000.
A thousand for a thousand, am I right?
However, I think these high prices are fair as they do perform very well when shooting 1000 yards.
You’ll be lucky to find a super affordable one, but it’d still be best to save up if you really want to invest in one.
And who knows? Maybe you’ll find that spending $1000 dollars is worth it because it is (at least in my experience).
Frequently Asked Questions
What Magnification Do You Need for 1,000-yard Shots?
It depends, but a general rule is to have AT LEAST 10x.
10x magnification is a good place to start before moving on to higher ranges.
Of course, if you want to see further than that, a 20-25x magnification works too!
How Far is a 10-Power Scope Good for?
A 10-power scope or a 10x scope is good for 250-1000 yards!
As mentioned earlier, a 10x magnification is ideal for a 1000-yard scope as it will make your target seem like it’s within reach.
10x is ideal for long-range shots in general, but there’s no reason you can’t use it for short ranges, either.
How Much Should You Spend on a Scope?
However much you can afford!
There is no fixed amount on how much you should spend because it all depends on what you need.
For beginners, I would say $300-$500 is an acceptable range, given how capable the scopes within this price range are.
I hope you enjoyed this little list of some of the best long-range scopes in the market today.
You can also try your hand at some of the best scopes for 500 yards!
Remember that optical clarity, durability, and overall accuracy of scope are key to being able to start precision shooting at a long distance.
Given that criteria, I highly recommend the Vortex Viper PST Gen II as the best 1000-yard scope for long-range rifle shooting.
Long-range shooting is probably one of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy a session on the range!
It feels accurate and elegant, unlike some of the automatic rifles you may be used to on the range.
Whichever you choose from this best scopes list, you’ll be happy knowing that your investment in a quality sniper scope will go a long way!
FINAL TIP: If budget is a concern, I recommend you check out our buying guide on the Top Riflescopes Under 500 Dollars to get the best scope for your needs.