Choosing the Best 1000 Yard Rifle Scope – Editor’s Picks for 2018
A good 1000 yard scope will make the shooting experience a lot more pleasant for you, and will greatly improve your accuracy. When you are choosing a scope, it is important to consider accuracy, the quality of the optics, weight and durability. Here, we will take a look at some of the best 1000 yard rifle scopes on the market, at a range of different price points, to help you find a scope that will suit your needs, and fit into your budget as well.
If you're in a hurry then here's the list of the best 1000 yard rifle scopes:
What Makes a Good Scope
Finding an optic that works can be quite a challenge. At the lower end of the price range, many optics are inaccurate or difficult to calibrate well. At the higher end of the price range, the basic quality is typically better, but figuring out which scopes are worth the extra money – and which are ones where you are simply ‘paying for the badge’ can be a challenge.
A lot of selecting a scope that works comes down to personal preference (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Dpxx-LQE08), but once you know what you are looking for, it’s possible to find a high quality scope at any price point.
How to Choose a 1,000 Yard Scope
There are a number of things that you should consider when buying a scope – adjustment, magnification, and budget are a few of the core considerations. You shouldn’t be thinking just about the features of the scope, though – what you are shooting at, the ammo you are shooting with, and where you are shooting also make a difference. Think about the real world applications that you will be putting the scope under, and buy for those, rather than purely looking at the numbers.
Features of a Good Scope
A good scope should have at least 40 MOA that you can use for adjustment, with a 100 yard zero. This is key. If you can’t get a 100 yard zero, then shooting in a lot of circumstances will eb a pain.
In terms of magnification, you will want to have a magnification of 18x to 25x – to an extent this is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer to go to lower than 18x – even as low as 10x, because higher magnifications can make problems such as mirage more noticeable. Some people prefer closer to 25x. Sometimes, it’s a trade-off between budget and field of view.
What Makes a Great Scope
To an extent, the best 1000 yard rifle scope is ‘whatever scope you can afford that will get the job done’. When your budget is at the higher end, you have a whole wealth of choices and can get bells and whistles that aren’t absolutely necessary but that might save you time and make the scope a little easier to use. When you’re on a tight budget, sometimes, the difference between a more expensive scope and a less expensive one is a trade-off that doesn’t make much sense. Pick the features that you will use, and buy the scope that does the job that you need it to do the best. This even applies at the higher end – the Hensoldt 3-26x is a good scope, so is the Vortex GEN2 Razor – yet one costs more than twice as much as the other. Depending on what and where you’re shooting, the more expensive scope might not be the best.
A lot of people assume that a scope that is made in the USA is better than a scope made in Japan or some other country. That’s not always true. Yes, quality control is high in the states, but it’s also high elsewhere in the world too. When we’re looking at firearm accessories, the country of origin alone is not enough to determine what’s good and what’s not.
By the same token, more magnification doesn’t automatically mean ‘better. You want to look for a scope that has good lens quality with coatings that will offer good performance in the kind of environment you will be shooting in (camo, low light, bright light, etc), and you want to buy something that has a reticle that you find easy to read, and that offers easy adjustment for elevation and windage. It takes time to learn how to use a different style of reticle, so try to get a reticle that you’re already familiar with – or expect a little frustration while you get used to it. You may feel that a simple reticle is all you need, or it could be that there’s another type that you find is much easier for you to read and to line up a shot with. Don’t buy a fancy reticle if you don’t understand what all of the markings are – that would be like buying pro running shoes to do a local fun run.
Other useful features include zero stops – that will prevent you from being off a turn, as well as locks and breaks. The choice between a locking turret and a double turn turret is a matter of personal preference – locks aren’t something that everyone uses, so if you can save a few dollars by getting a double turn turret instead, and you’re someone that doesn’t use the locking feature, then why not?
Five of the Best 1000 Yard Rifle Scopes
This versatile scope is designed for competition shooters. It features an SCR reticle designed expressly for competition use, and has is a long-range scope with a rugged constriction which means that it will survive most day to day use. The scope features a 34mm tube and illuminated etched glass that offers a clear view in most conditions.
With magnification options between 5x and 25x, the scope should suit most tastes, and as an added bonus, it is waterproof up to 33ft. Another nice feature is that it takes common CR2450 batteries, which means that you won’t need to fuss with finding obscure batteries when you need to replace them.
The scope offers windage/elevation of 1 cm @ 100 m, or 1/10 mRad, and this is a nice upper-mid-price scope. There are scopes that cost far more, and there are some that cost far less – but if you’re looking for a good investment that will offer reliable competition level performance, then this is an option that is well worth considering.
This scope is quite clearly positioned in the budget category, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a low-quality product. Vortex stand by every scope they make, and offer an unconditional lifetime warranty, even on their budget models.
This scope features extra-low dispersion glass, which offers clear, crisp color fidelity and variable magnification. This particular model mixes features from Viper’s PST and HS scopes, to create a versatile scope that can be used for a range of applications.
The eye box offers increased eye relief, so you can find your targets quickly and easily, and the tactical windage and elevation turrets are easy to use. The hash mark-based reticle offers at-a glance readings, and there is a sun shade that makes the scope a joy to use in challenging conditions.
The scope can be used on both precision rifles and hunting rifles. The tracking and clarity are good for the price, and the scope holds its zero well, allowing it to compete with scopes at a much higher price point. Why spend four figures on a scope when you can get something that will do the job just as well for a fraction of that?
The optics are stunning, and once you’re familiar with the setup the scope is easy to adjust to get great speed and accuracy. It’s surprisingly light, too, since it is made from aircraft-grade aluminum.The 56mm lens ensures that you get good clarity and resolution no matter what range of magnification you are using, and the 5.5 power is a good option for close-range shots. Having the option to go higher when you need it means that you can shoot almost anything with just the one scope, meaning that this is good value for money for the price range.
The scope is waterproof and lead-free, and has a generous eyebox with blackened edges for comfort and ease during long-term use. The field of view is impressive even at 100 yards, and the elevation adjustment range of 55 MOA is suitable for most circumstances. The scope weighs just 26.30 oz, and has a matte black finish, so it is easy to fit, use and carry even for long sessions.
The scope has been tested by F-class shooters and developed with them in mind, making it a good choice for someone who wants a single scope that will see them through day to day shooting, with plenty of versatility. The scope is easy to zero, so you’ll be up and running, and shooting long range, accurate shots, in no time.
The 44mm objective and fast-focus eyepiece are a joy to use, and the micro-fine cross hair and target dot are easy for beginners to use. The fully exposed target turrets are easily accessible for quick target adjustment, and the clarity of the eyepiece is reminiscent of what you would find in scopes at a much greater price point.
In terms of features, this is a relatively bare-bones scope, but for those who want something robust and that fills a narrow role well, this is hard to beat, and those who are limited in their budget would do well to choose it. It also makes a good backup scope for those who have more money to spend, and are willing to invest a lot more in their daily driver. It’s heavier than some other long range scopes, but that’s a small price to pay.
Of out of the scopes listed above, our winner in terms of the overall best 1000 yard rifle scope is the Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50 Riflescope. It is a budget scope but with high-end features, making it a versatile choice for people who want something that they can use in a range of different circumstances. The build quality feels stunning – and there is definitely something nice about using a scope that feels robust and well made. The accuracy and the ease of zeroing means that it is a good choice for beginners and experienced shooters alike.
The other scopes in the list are all good choices – and it’s worth considering them if you want something a little more luxurious, or if you’re looking for something squarely in the budget end of the market. If you have the opportunity to talk to a friend who is an experienced shooter, visit a range, or just try a few different scopes in a store, then do so – because a lot of what makes a good scope is personal preference.
We checked the scopes we had selected initially (2nd half of 2017) and they still are in our opinion the best scopes you can find if you're trying to shoot 1,000 yards or more. We will continuously have a look at new introductions and replace the current picks if there are any new scopes that are indeed better.