If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for sniper scopes:
- Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm
- Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50
- Monstrum G3 6-24×50 Riflescope
- Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
- Steiner PX4i 4-16×56
- EOTech Vudu 5-25x50mm
- NightForce ATACR 7-35x56mm
Hearing the ping of steel on a long-range target is a thrilling and highly rewarding experience. Precision shooting at extreme distances requires tons of skill as well as some highly specialized equipment. One of the most important things to invest in is a high-quality optic. However, finding the best sniper scope is not an easy task.
We’re here to help you navigate the confusing world of precision, long-range optics. When we’re done, you’ll understand the key qualities to look for in a long-range riflescope. We also have a list of our top picks to help get you started on your search for the perfect precision optic.
- Sniper Scope Guide
- Comparison Table
- Top 7 Best Sniper Scope Reviews
Sniper Scope Guide
Not sure what qualities make a scope ideal precision long-range shooting? Here are some key features to consider when shopping for a sniper scope.
Most shooters look at a scope’s level of magnification as a first consideration. Magnification is indicated on the label (or the scope’s designation) in a series of numbers that resembles a math problem. When you look at the string of numbers, magnification is represented by the numbers that precede the “x”.
Most long-range scopes have a variable magnification range to help shooters engage targets at a variety of ranges. The first number in the string is the scope’s lowest level of magnification. The number after the dash in the sequence is the highest magnification power. Look for a scope with a magnification range somewhere in the 4-25 x range.
While magnification is important, you’ll need more than just powerful magnification to engage targets at 1000 yards and beyond.
The number after the “x” on a scope’s label represents the diameter of the objective lens measured in millimeters. The objective lens acts like a window to let light into the optic so you can see a bright, clear image through the scope.
Because sniper scopes have serious magnification lenses, they require a large objective lens to ensure bright images, especially at the high end of the magnification range. As a general guideline, long-range shooters should look for an objective lens that is at least 46mm.
A large objective lens does have some drawbacks. Massive objectives add extra weight and bulk to your long-range rig. This can be a major hindrance for hunters who need to hike long distances or maneuver in dense forests or the confines of a hunting blind.
Scopes with variable magnification will either be designated as FFP (first focal plane) or SFP (second focal plane). The designation tells you where the reticle is located inside the optic.
The reticle on an SFP scope is located on the second focal plane behind the magnification lens. This means the reticle stays the same size, even when you adjust the magnification. As a result, the holdover points will only be accurate at a single magnification.
An FFP scope has the reticle etched on the first focal plane. This means it is located toward the front of the scope. FFP reticles change size as you zoom in and out, so the reticle size always has the same perspective through the entire magnification range. FFP scopes are usually more desirable for long-range shooting because the holdover will be the same even no matter where you dial in the magnification.
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To make precision shots on distant targets, you need a scope with target turrets. Target turrets are relatively tall and have either MOA (minutes of angle) or milliradian markings. This turret style allows you to make fine adjustments to compensate for crosswind and bullet drop over distance.
Parallax is an optical effect that causes the target to shift when you move your head as you peer through the scope. If not corrected, it can cause major accuracy issues downrange. Most long-range scopes have parallax adjustment either as an external side knob or as an adjustable objective (AO).
|Leupold VX-3i LRP||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Monstrum G3||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Zeiss Conquest V6||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Steiner PX4i||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|EOTech Vudu||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|NightForce ATACR||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Top 7 Best Sniper Scope Reviews
Not sure where to start? Check out some of our top picks for long-range shooting.
1. Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20x50mm
American-made Leopold optics are well-known for their durability, reliability, and premium glass. Leupold’s VX-3i LRP is one of the best long-range optics on the market today. LRP actually stands for “long range precision,” and this optic seriously earns that designation.
The Leupold VX-3i LRP delivers reliable match-grade accuracy in a lightweight, yet durable package. The optic is designed to withstand harsh environments and punishing recoil. If you’re looking for a sniper scope for a rifle chambered for hard-hitting long-distance performers like .338 Lapua or .300 Win Mag, this is the scope for the job.
The VX-3i LRP features easy-to-read, zero-stop adjustment dials and precision target-style turrets. The turrets offer ¼ MOA windage and elevation adjustments for the most precise adjustments possible. The scope also has a built-in, quick-turn throw lever for instant magnification changes and a side focus knob to adjust for parallax at every range.
2. Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50
This top-notch rifle scope from Vortex Optics features premium extra-low dispersion (ED) glass and fully multi-coated lenses. Designed to maximize light transmission while reducing residual glare, the Vortex Viper PST delivers seriously impressive image quality. It has a bright, crisp, high-contrast sight picture that will totally knock your socks off. This riflescope definitely delivers some of the best views you’ll ever see through an optic.
Serious long-range shooters will fall in love with the Viper’s laser-etched turrets. These turrets offer crisp, audible clicks so you can make precision holdover and windage adjustments.
The scope also features a side parallax adjustment, RZR zero stop, and a detailed FFP reticle that is highly visible through the optic’s entire magnification range. While the detailed reticle may seem cluttered and confusing to the inexperienced shooter, the detail is perfect for extreme distance shooting.
3. Monstrum G3 6-24×50 Riflescope
If you want a reliable long-range optic, you should plan to invest some extra cash. Precision performance doesn’t come cheap. However, there are some options that deliver serious performance for the money and are perfectly priced for the long-range shooter on a shoestring budget. The G3 from Monstrum Tactical is one such optic.
Somehow Monstrum manages to pack this budget scope with tons of high end features that are all perfect for long-range shooting. The G3 has an ample 6-24x magnification range, an adjustable objective lens, and high-quality target turrets.
It also has an easy-to-read ranging reticle perfect for making precision holdover corrections. The reticle has multiple brightness settings, so you can optimize its visibility for virtually any lighting condition you encounter in the field.
The Monstrum G3 rifle scope makes a great entry level option for long-range target or tactical shooting. And when mounted on a bolt action Remington 700 (especially one chambered for .308 WInchester), this makes a great hunting partner for those after elk, pronghorn, mule deer or other big game animals that often require precision long distance shots.
4. Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
Zeiss understands the importance of a high-quality image, especially when you need to dial in with maximum magnification. The company manufactures some of the best optical equipment on the planet, designing everything from tiny lenses for medical microscopes to lens components for NASA space missions. Luckily for the modern shooter, they bring that same level of excellence to their long-range riflescopes.
The Zeiss Conquest V6 features premium quality glass, fluoride lenses, and six layers of the company’s proprietary T Star coatings. These features combine to deliver 92 percent light transmission for razor-sharp, high-contrast images even in low light.
Extreme distance shooters will appreciate the Conquest’s ultra-fine illuminated reticle. The crosshairs are thinner than the width of the average human hair. This design provides maximum target visibility on the tiniest long-range targets. The scope also features fiber optic reticle illumination, so the reticle is always visible. Plus, you’ll never need to change any batteries.
5. Steiner PX4i 4-16×56
Steiner has been specializing in high-quality optics for generations, so when they claim their PX4i is “the ideal riflescope,” they know what they are talking about.
Perfect for tactical applications, the Steiner PX4i has a durable construction perfect for tough battle conditions. The scope’s main housing is made from a single piece of high-quality aircraft grade aluminum. Without any welds to weaken the structure, this tube offers unparalleled strength and durability.
The PX4i features premium easy-to-use target turrets that offer just the right amount of tactile resistance for precision adjustments. The turrets also feature a color indicator that changes after one full rotation, so you never lose track of your adjustments.
Perhaps the best feature of the Px4i is the illuminated Special Competition Reticle, also known as the SCR. Designed specifically for high stakes competition, this FFP reticle is highly detailed, has an extended illumination range, and works particularly well in low light shooting conditions.
6. EOTech Vudu 5-25x50mm
Most tactical shooters know EOTech for their high-tech holographic sights. However, the company’s long-range Vudu riflescope is definitely worthy of some attention. Vudu rifle scopes are built for the battlefield. Each of these extremely durable optics is torture-tested by EOTech for proven durability and reliable performance, even in harsh environments.
The EOTech Vudu is one of the shortest long-range scopes on the market. At only 11 inches long, the Vudu is perfect for short platform modern sporting rifles where rail space is often limited. The compact size makes this scope the perfect pairing for an AR-10 or an AR-15 chambered for a long-range cartridge like 6.5 Creedmoor or 6.5 Grendel.
Vudu riflescopes also have impressive image quality. They are made with crystal clear, high-density XC glass which offers impeccable light transmission. The scope is also nitrogen filled for crisp image quality as well as reliable fogproof performance, even in the wettest weather conditions.
7. NightForce ATACR 7-35x56mm
The NightForce ATACR is a high-end optic with a serious price tag. However, don’t let the price of this scope send you into sticker shock. If you can afford the investment, this is one serious long-distance performer, and we believe it’s well worth every penny. In fact, this is the scope Marine Corp snipers run on their rigs, so you know this is an optic you can trust for precision shooting, especially in extreme shooting environments.
The ATACR is packed with premium features, including an illuminated FFP reticle, tactical mil turrets, and one of the best zero stop functions in the business. It also has fully multi-coated glass, a huge 56mm objective lens, and an ample 34mm tube. When it comes to low light image quality, you won’t find anything better on the market.
Summing It Up
With good marksmanship skills and the right equipment, you can achieve sniper-like feats of accuracy for hunting, target shooting, or tactical maneuvers. In addition to a high-quality rifle and match-grade ammunition, you need a precision optic to maximize your long-range shooting performance. All of the options on our list are top-notch picks and will help you get rounds on target, even when those targets are sitting at 1000 yards or beyond.
Generally, a good long-range optic requires a major investment. Quality and performance usually improve as the price goes up. So, if you want the best sniper scope, be prepared to drop a few thousand dollars. If you can’t afford that kind of cash, don’t worry. There are several affordable options that will still help you get the job done. Just don’t expect the same results from a budget-priced optic. If you want precision and repeatable accuracy, you’re going to have to invest in quality.
Alice Jones Webb is a writer, life-long hunter, experienced shooter, and mother of 4 up-and-coming shooting and outdoor enthusiasts. She grew up flinging arrows and bullets at Virginia whitetails, turkey, and game birds, but her favorite hunting experience is chasing bull elk in the Colorado backcountry.
Never one to sit still and look pretty, Alice is also a self-defense instructor and competitive archer. She currently resides in rural North Carolina with her children, non-hunting husband, and a well-stocked chest freezer.