Shooting at 500 yards isn’t easy.
Your success involves having the best gear and equipment to help you with target shooting.
Today, I’ll be helping you find the best scope for 500 yards.
I’ll cover 6 excellent choices, and you’ll find a lot more success hitting your targets when you’re using the best long-range rifle scope.
- Top 6 Rifle Scopes for 500 Yards
- 500-Yard Rifle Scope Buying Guide: Things to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Top Picks
Top 6 Rifle Scopes for 500 Yards
1. Nikon Prostaff P3 Predator Hunter
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- Photography-grade glass quality
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- BDC Reticle and objective lens
- Minimum magnification: 5x
- Maximum magnification: 20x
- Eye relief: 3.5 – 5.0 in
The fully multi-coated lens of the Prostaff is made of photography-grade glass. Unfortunately, it isn’t selfie-worthy.
It means you get clear and high-definition images each time, regardless of the light condition.
And true enough, it really did feel like looking through the latest smartphone camera!
It sounds like a dream for most hunters, especially those who spend most of their day out in the field. But I’ve only scratched the surface.
Besides the photography-grade glass, there’s so much more going on with this rifle scope.
For starters, it’s got a 5-20 times magnification range, which is great for long distances.
If you’re looking for a long-range shooting scope for 500 yards, I think the 5-20 magnification should be more than enough.
The 20x range can go as far as 700 yards!
Even if you are looking for a scope good for 500 yards, why settle for the minimum when you can get a scope that can do 700?
Safe to say, this scope can cover short and long-distance shooting. It’s an extremely VERSATILE rifle scope!
Prostaff comes with Nikon’s very own BDC reticle. I must note that the Prostaff doesn’t sport an illuminated reticle.
However, I’ve found that this is still a good rifle scope for 500 yards under low-light conditions.
The Prostaff over-compensated for the lack of illumination on the reticle by adding its own etched reticle.
What does this mean?
It means you don’t have to worry about blurry images or experience difficulty finding a target in low-light conditions.
Moreover, Nikon’s BDC reticle comes with markings for every windage and range adjustment.
You can make your adjustments as you go while still giving a clear view of what you’re shooting.
This long-range scope is durable, thanks to its O-Ring seal. It’s proven to hold up well against rain or snow!
Worried about temperature change?
Well, with the Nikon Prostaff, it’s the best scope for 500 yards that takes those worries away.
The scope is moisture, water, and fog proof, giving you many more years of fun with the scope.
Is the Nikon Prostaff Predator Hunter for You?
I’d say you can’t go wrong with it!
Through the years, the Nikon Prostaff has been a rifle scope staple for many hunters who need a scope good for 500 yards.
It provides a reliable, versatile, and accurate performance each time, making it one of my most preferred scopes for 500 yards.
2. Trijicon TR29 AccuPoint Rifle Scope
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- Low dispersion glass
- Elevation and windage turrets
- Military standard
- Self-illuminated reticle
- Minimum magnification: 4x
- Maximum magnification: 16x
- Eye relief: 3.1 – 3.8 in
The multi-coated optics on this rifle scope for 500 yards stand out. You might think that nearly all scopes have some multi-coated feature.
So then…what makes this one stand out?
Well, for one, Trijicon supplies materials to the military. Rest assured, their scope is made with the good stuff, and I mean the good stuff.
And true enough, the TR29 exceeded my expectations! It’s definitely a high-quality scope that’s excellent for 500 yards.
The anti-reflective coating and multi-coated optics prove to be superb, giving you a crystal clear view of what you’re shooting.
There aren’t any distortions, even on the edges! The glass is SO CLEAR, and you can’t find anything else like this.
Tritium Illuminated Reticle
If you want accuracy and precision each time, the reticle of the TR29 will deliver without regret.
Here comes its most outstanding feature: a self-illuminated reticle. It lights up using tritium, and the glow adjusts to your surroundings!
This feature has come in pretty handy for me since I can fire without worrying about adjusting my scope’s reticle each time.
I also don’t have to keep switching scopes every time the light conditions change.
Believe it or not, the TR29 is overwhelmingly durable, so much so that it’s up to par with military-level standards. It’s that tough.
Yes, it’s tough and can take a beating, but it’s also quite heavy, so keep that in mind.
The rifle scope is also water, moisture, and fog proof.
Regardless of which temperature and weather conditions you’re in, the TR29 Accupoint can handle it.
It’s a great scope that can give you OPTIMAL performance each time.
Is the Trijicon TR29 AccuPoint for You?
If it’s the quality and performance you’re looking for, the Trijicon is hard to beat.
With its military-grade quality and performance, it has everything you want for that 500 yards range!
However, the TR29 comes with a pretty expensive price tag. That said, I don’t regret investing in this scope. Plus, it comes with a warranty!
- Illuminating reticles
- Perfect for competition shooters
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Leans on the heavier side
3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 Rifle Scope
- Anti-reflective and multi-coated optics
- Low dispersion glass
- Minimum magnification: 6x
- Maximum magnification: 18x
- Eye relief: 3.7 – 4.3 in
Nothing can be more annoying than an unreliable scope when you’re on the field for some target shooting practice. Nothing upsets me more.
Thankfully, Vortex Optics is a brand a lot of shooters, myself included, know they can COUNT on.
When it comes to the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44, reliability and functionality will be the least of your problem.
The 500-yard scope sports anti-reflective and multi-coated optics to give you a clear and bright 500 yards field of view.
The lens also comes with Vortex Optics’ proprietary coating, providing optimal light transmission. No more unnecessary glares!
Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
When it’s comfort you’re looking for, it’s comfort you’ll receive with the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 500-yard scope.
It sports a 3.7 – 4.3 inch eye relief, making sure to protect you from any eye strain or impact and recoil. FINALLY!
A peek into the scope, and you’ll find the marking to be clear, allowing you to make accurate estimates whenever you’re shooting within 500 yards of range.
You can also find the Dead-Hold BDC reticle of the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 is conveniently placed on the second focal plane.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II sports a 6 to 24 magnification, an ideal scope for 500 yards, and long-range shooting.
So much so, you’ll get a solid and clear view even at 500 yards!
Expect this rifle scope to perform well, even in medium-range target shooting. It provides the same stability and accuracy, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
Is the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 for You?
If you’re looking for a reliable AND affordable scope, I’d suggest the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 for your FIRST 500-yard scope.
It’s got a ton of excellent and decent features, which I’m sure will come in handy when you’re in the field.
This is especially true for competition shooters and serious hunters.
For such an affordable and feature-packed scope, what do you have to lose?
- 50mm objective lens
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Come with a VIP warranty
- Eye relief could be improved
4. Athlon Optics Neos Side Focus Rifle Scope
- Fully multi-coated optics
- Smooth magnification ring
- Aircraft-grade aluminum
- Side focus parallax adjustment
Fully Multi-Coated Lens
This 500-yard rifle scope has some impressive coating. Altogether, it makes ONE clear and accurate view for precise performance.
The anti-reflective coating SIGNIFICANTLY minimizes glare and optimizes light transmission.
It was like looking at the target with my naked eye!
Working under low light conditions won’t be a problem, and you’ll still have a bright visual of what you’re shooting at 500 yards.
Another feature I like about this scope is the etched reticle.
It’s a game-changer because it provides more precision without sacrificing recoil. KA-POW!
Smooth Magnification Ring
I think it’s worth mentioning this scope’s smooth magnification ring. It’s a great feature to have for any scope for 500 yards.
Regardless if it’s long-distance shooting you’re aiming for, you can seamlessly and smoothly go toward the zoom range.
It’s perfect for long-range distances, and you don’t have to worry about your field of view looking shaky and unstable.
I wish the adjustment knobs were as smooth since they are quite tough to turn.
Durable Aircraft-Grade Aluminum
The rifle scope is made of aircraft-grade aluminum tube construction. The overall body is durable, waterproof, moist-proof, and fog-proof.
Regardless of the temperature and weather conditions you’re in, you’ll have a clear sight picture each time.
Is the Athlon Optics Neos Side Focus for You?
Athlon is easily one of the most reliable brands out there when we talk of optics.
And the Neos Side Focus is no exception, especially if you’re looking for one of the clearest views at 500 yards with side focus parallax adjustment!
If you’re looking for a quick and easy go-to scope for 500 yards, I’d recommend this scope for you.
It combines durability and performance in ONE package!
5. Leupold VX-3i
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- Comfortable eye relief
- Precise MOA adjustments
- Diamond coat 2 ion-assist optics
The eye relief on the VX-3i is around 3.6 to 4.5 inches, which is comfortable for me, thankfully!
It likely won’t cause you any eye strain or bruises from any recoil when you’re shooting at 500 yards.
Even if you’re using a rifle with heavy recoil, the VX-3i will protect your eye against any strain or injuries. Fire away, folks!
You can easily adjust the windage and elevation turrets of this scope, even on the go!
The 1/4 MOA adjustments are easy to figure out, and there’s hardly any learning curve to it…emphasis is on HARDLY.
Once you’ve gotten around the MOA, you can adjust your scope as you move along!
This rifle scope isn’t your ordinary multi-coated optics. Instead, it sports a diamond coat 2 ion-assist lens coating.
How is it different from others?
It provides better light transmission, giving you a COMPLETE view of what’s ahead of you.
You’ll have a clearer vision of your target, regardless of the magnification!
Is the Leupold VX-3i for You?
Looking for a good low-light rifle scope for 500 yards? I’d suggest getting the Leupold VX-3i.
It’s an excellent all-around scope that performs at its best when used under low-light conditions.
If you always hunt under low-light conditions, the VX-3i is a great companion for you.
6. Nikon Black FX 1000
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- First focal plane reticle
- Focus parallax adjustment
- Adjustable windage and elevation
The FX 1000 provides sharp and clear images, REGARDLESS of the light condition you’re working with.
And even with a long distance of over 500 yards, you won’t experience setbacks from this 500-yard scope.
The scope also sports optimal light transition, making sure nothing gets in the way of your shooting.
Easy and Quick Adjustments
If you’re always on the go, making quick and easy adjustments to your scope is crucial.
You want to be able to adjust windage and elevation as you move along WITHOUT sacrificing your performance.
Luckily, the FX 1000 promises to deliver THAT and more!
Even while you’re moving, the windage and elevation turrets won’t give you a tough time.
It’s also worth mentioning on this 500-yard scope is its convenient parallax knob.
You no longer have to remove your eyes from the target, nor should you change your position!
How about that!
You can set your eyes on what you’re shooting, stay where you are, and conveniently adjust your rifle scope.
Is the Nikon Black FX 1000 for You?
The FX 1000 is a premium scope packed with excellent features.
I should also mention: since it’s so expensive, it’s best to consider it a long-term investment.
But if you’ve got the money for it, the FX 1000 stands to be a great scope for 500 yards.
500-Yard Rifle Scope Buying Guide: Things to Consider
It’s no secret that looking for the best scope for 500 yards isn’t an easy task. With such a ton of high-quality scopes out there, sorting through them is tricky.
Nevertheless, finding the best rifle scope for you is NOT impossible.
When it comes to finding the best scope for 500 yards, you need to know what you’re looking for. Doing so helps you shortlist your choice and land with the best rifle scope for your need.
To help you land the best long-range rifle scope for you, I’ve listed down some of the essential factors to keep in mind.
1. Adjustable Windage and Elevation Turrets
Not a lot of scopes come with adjustable turrets.
Or even if it does, it’s not always reliable or easy to use. And when this is the case, it poses a significant problem for any hunter.
If you’ve been out on the field for a long time, you’ll know the value of having adjustable windage and elevation turrets.
They’ll help you remain on the go, regardless of the situation you’re in.
Plus, you can adjust the windage and elevation turrets anytime without fiddling too much with your gun!
That said, I suggest going for a scope that offers QUICK and ACCURATE adjustments.
You can make adjustments to your scope even while moving for those long-range precision shots!
2. Eye Relief
I’m sure you want to hit what you’re shooting without giving yourself a black eye.
You don’t want to come out with an eye looking and feeling bruised just because it doesn’t come with any eye relief.
Unknown to some, looking for a scope with eye relief is crucial.
Without it, your eye can look and feel bruised, and you might even experience some eye strain later on.
Eye relief provides your eyes and brow with some protection because of the gun’s recoil or impact.
Just imagine what your eye will look like right after your scope doesn’t have any eye relief protection. Ouch!
3. High-Quality Lens
Regardless of what kind of rifle scope I check out, I like to make sure it has a high-quality lens.
It affects a lot of factors, like accuracy and magnification levels.
Choosing the wrong sort of lens can cause you some severe eye strain, which we’re sure you’ll despise, like a bad zit or sore pimple.
These are the kind of lenses that I always look for:
- Fully Multi-Coated Lens: guaranteed performance all the time, regardless of the condition.
- Anti-Reflective and Scratch-Resistant: gives an unobstructed and clear view of your field of view and sight picture.
4. Light Transmission
You generally won’t notice any troubles in terms of seeing clearly on your scope during the day.
When you’re in a well-lit area or a sunny field, you should be able to see clearly thanks to the standard illuminated reticle.
But when the sun is about to set, and it’s not as bright as it was in the afternoon, the Mummy rises from its tomb.
Kidding. Sunlight influences how clearly you can see with your scope.
Why is that so?
Well, not a lot of scopes come with a light transmission feature, which allows you to see a bright and clear image, even if you’re under low-light settings.
That said, I highly recommend choosing a rifle scope with a decent light transmission feature or a large objective lens.
You should be able to gather the MAXIMUM light transmission you need and focus clearly on your target, regardless of the light condition!
5. Magnification Range and Adjustability
Magnification is a crucial factor in choosing a lens.
There are two parts worth talking about when it comes to magnification: magnification range and adjustability.
The magnifying range talks a great deal about the distance your scope is capable of reaching.
Can it see even if it’s long-range? Or is the field of view limited to only a short distance?
In deciding what range to choose, consider what you plan to use the scope for.
As much as possible, I suggest selecting a scope that fits your needs for the best CRISP and CLEAR images.
The next most important thing to consider is scope adjustable magnification options. Why?
Because having such a feature is crucial, especially if you want to hit your target at all times at varying distances.
Plus, regardless of your target distance, you can conveniently adjust for varying ranges and find the sweet spot from where you are.
You don’t have to keep moving each time!
If you want to achieve a PERFECT shooting score each time, regardless of the distance and target, choose an adjustable lens.
Rimfire scopes are good for short-range shooting! Check out my buying guide here!
6. First Focal Plane vs. Second Focal Plane
There are only two focal planes to choose from for rifle scopes:
- FFP or First Focal Plane refers to a scope with the reticle on the first focal plane. The reticle changes size with the scope when zooming in and out, regardless of the magnification level.
- SFP or Second Focal Plane refers to a scope with a reticle on the second focal plane. A second focal plane reticle doesn’t change size with the magnification level.
If you often find yourself shooting long distances, I think it’d be best to use an FFP scope.
I DON’T recommend FFP scopes for close ranges in dark backgrounds.
In dark or low-light environments, it’s best to get an SFP scope with an illuminated reticle. It’s better for visibility no matter what magnification you use.
Check out this in-depth guide on the two types of focal planes to learn more!
Regardless of what scope you intend to buy, make sure it’s made with strong, durable materials.
Doing so gives you more time to enjoy your scope without any problems!
REMEMBER: The scope of your choice can maintain its quality even after many months or years of use.
Today, scopes come with a lot of features that add to their durability.
Some are shockproof, waterproof, and even fog-proof. These features add quality to the scope and also affect performance.
Price is always an important consideration, and expensive scopes aren’t always the way to go.
Remember, choosing the best rifle scope doesn’t have to be expensive.
There are a ton of scopes at a pretty reasonable price, which won’t break your bank.
Before buying the best rifle scope, set a budget for yourself so you can limit the selection you’re looking at.
There are a ton of scopes that comes with decent features per price range.
You can take a look at my guide on the Best AR15 Scopes for $200 if that budget suits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is More Magnification Always Preferable?
More magnification is better for long-range shooting.
Otherwise, if you’re shooting from, let’s say, 100 yards away, you won’t need that much zooming.
The right distance requires the right magnification for you to land a solid shot.
For example, a 10x magnification is just right for 500 yards, as it will make your target look like it’s only 50 yards away!
What Magnification Is Required for 500 Yards?
It depends, but I recommend a magnification of around 10x-12x for 500 yards.
Anything shorter than 500 yards won’t need as much magnification; you may only need around 3-9x in that case.
Can You Have Too Much Magnification?
Yes, and it’s a common mistake among new shooters. I am guilty of this as well.
Too much magnification can reduce your field of view, meaning you will only see a small amount of your target, which can affect your aim.
Additionally, it also decreases brightness and resolution, making your image blurrier.
Without a doubt, I can say I’ve listed some of the best rifle scopes for 500 yards in this list.
Each comes with its unique features and selling points; you won’t regret choosing them.
But of all the best rifle scopes I’ve mentioned in this list, two scopes stood out: the Trijicon TR29 and Nikon Prostaff 7 SF M BDC.
Runner Up – Trijicon TR29
This military-grade scope is worth your time and money.
It comes with excellent quality that can out-compete all other scopes for 500 yards. The only trade-off is its expensive price tag.
Nevertheless, I think this is the best rifle scope worth your money.
Best Overall – Nikon Prostaff
Finding the best rifle scope for 500 yards is hard to come by, which is why the Nikon Prostaff is a worthwhile find that comes with excellent features and shooting performance.
It’s one of the best scopes for 500 yards, perfect for your all-around use!
Now that you know the best scope for 500 yards, what else are you waiting for? It’s time to whip out your rifles and start shooting at 500 yards.
Or you can also go for a good 1000-yard scope!
Feel free to give it a like and share it with your fellow hunters. They might just be looking for the best rifle scopes for 500 yards.
If you’re looking for a scope under $500, check out this list!
FINAL TIP: For those looking for the best AR15 mounts, check out my guide on the Best Scope Mounts for AR15.