Long-range shooting is an art in itself. It is one that continues to increase in popularity. This is largely due to the continued advancement in available weapons and accessories.
Choosing a quality scope for this activity is a key requirement. However, the top-tier optics in this shooting category are beyond the range of many shooters’ pockets.
Having said this, we have some good news! There are very good quality scopes out there for shooters with up to a thousand dollars to spend. With this in mind, below look at, among many, what is the best long range scope under $1000.
From these choices, we are sure you will find a suitable optic to enhance your long-range accuracy.
A wide choice is yours…
Long-range scope models are certainly not short in availability. The issue is finding one which meets both your needs and your wallet. A quality long-range optic does require investment. However, making the right choice will surely enhance your shooting experience.
So, let’s get started with the first of our seven best long-range scope models under $1000, the…
Best Long Range Scopes Under $1000 in 2021 Reviews
1 Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical Riflescopes – Best Value for the Money Long Range Scope Under $1000
We begin with a model from the highly respected Vortex Optics brand. This Diamondback Tactical scope offers excellent value against the performance received.
The model choice…
Your first decisions will be to choose which magnification, objective lens size, and style best suit your needs.
Vortex offers a choice of models with a 4-16x magnification and 44mm objective lens, or a 6-24x magnification with a 50mm objective lens. Both come with the Vortex EBR-2C reticle and choice of either MOA (Minute of Angle) or MRAD (Milli Radians) options.
We shall concentrate on the lower magnification model (4-16x-44mm) with an MOA reticle. However, standard specs in terms of build, features, and performance are worthy of consideration, whichever model you choose.
A crisp and bright sight picture…
A crisp and bright sight picture is essential if you are to view your target clearly. This Diamondback Tactical certainly offers that. It is designed with extra-low dispersion glass, as well as fully multi-coated lenses.
Coming with an FFP (First Focal Plane) glass-etched reticle, it works to ensure sub-tensions are accurate throughout its given 4x zoom range.
In addition to this, you will benefit from the precision-glide erector system. This includes quality zoom lens components. They facilitate smooth magnification changes no matter what conditions you are shooting in.
Essential features for long-distance precision…
We must first mention durability and resilience. Both are important factors when you consider the wear and tear you will put a long-distance scope through.
The Diamondback Tactical is made from a single piece 30mm tube that is shockproof. It has been designed to withstand consistent recoil and impact. In addition to this, water and fog proof abilities are yours. These factors come thanks to the included strong O-ring seals and the nitrogen purging process.
But, precision features for long-distance shooting are equally important. In this respect, you are offered tactical turrets and a side parallax knob. Then there is the fast focus eyepiece, which allows for rapid, easy reticle focusing.
Whether you prefer the MOA or MRAD version, you are getting an excellent reticle. It will hold windage and elevation adjustments when rapidly engaging multiple targets. This has to be seen as a quick target acquisition reticle.
- Respected manufacturer.
- First-class value.
- Choice of models.
- Holds zero consistently.
- Great features for what you pay.
- None, for this price.
2 Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Riflescopes – Most Durable Long Range Scope Under $1000
Due to quality and excellent value, we must stick with Vortex. Their Viper HS-T is moving up the price ladder but is still very much in the best long range scope under $1000 category.
A hybrid model with SFP (Second Focal Plane)…
The Viper HS-T (Hunting & Shooting – Tactical) is one of the multiple Viper configuration models offered by Vortex Optics.
While the Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical model reviewed above gives an FFP reticle, this Viper HS-T model comes with an SFP reticle.
Again, MOA or MRAD options are offered. It should be noted that the included SFP reticle is classed as a VMR-1. This makes it ideal for accurate holds at extended distances. You also have a choice of 2x magnification/objective lens sizes: 4-16x-44mm or 6-24x-50mm.
Built to withstand robust usage…
Any long-range scope for under $1000 that you look at needs to be of solid build. The nature of long-range hunting, in particular, means you will put your weapon and optic through some heavy use. The Viper HS-T is formed from a 1-piece tube using aircraft-grade aluminum. This optic is also O-ring sealed and then argon purged to ensure water and fog-proofing.
Whether used in a hunting, tactical, or target shooting situation, the Viper HS-T will cope with abuse and come back for more.
This optic comes with excellent quality XR fully multi-coated lenses that afford optimum light transmission. It means good visibility will be maintained even in low/poor light conditions. Clarity of view and lens protection is further enhanced through the applied anti-glare and Armortek coating.
Adjustment-wise, you will benefit from precise and repeatable clicks through the easy-to-access finger adjustment feature. There is also a CRS Zero Stop feature. This ensures a reliable return to zero after you have dialed-in temporary elevation corrections.
Acceptable eye relief…
With a 4x zoom, versatile magnification is yours. You can then couple this with the side focus parallax adjustment. This allows for optimal image focus and parallax removal.
The inclusion of a fast-focus eyepiece also allows correct reticle adjustment to your shooting eye. In this regard, eye relief is something all shooters need to consider very carefully.
The Viper HS-T allays any worries in this respect. Looking at the 6-24x magnification model shows exactly why. At 6x magnification, you get generous eye relief of four inches. While at the top end (24x) magnification, it still offers eye relief of up to three inches.
- Built to last.
- Choice of reticles and magnification.
- Versatile use.
- Quality XR fully multi-coated lenses.
- Sunshade and lens caps are included.
- Still very good value.
- Avid dawn/dusk hunters will want something more.
- Stiffer than necessary magnification adjustments.
3 NightForce SHV 4-14×56 .250 MOA Riflescope – Best Premium Long Range Scope Under $1000
We move significantly up the price ladder with our next long-range optic, and the quality is self-evident.
You are buying into quality…
We totter on the edge of the best long range scope under $1000 category. Having said this, NightForce proves once again that top quality can be provided at excellent value. This is seen when considering the features and functionality of the SHV (Shooter, Hunter, Varminter) 4-14×56 .250 MOA riflescope offers.
Its sleek aesthetics will have heads turning wherever you go. But looks and style are certainly not the only things going for it.
Robust yet designed for ultimate precision…
This long-range optic is machined from solid bar stock, aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, and comes with a 30mm diameter tube. It is water and fog proof. It will withstand severe temperature changes and is built to withstand extreme shock.
Just as importantly, this scope is capable of handling consistent and repeated recoil from even the largest calibers.
Another highly notable feature comes with the zero-tolerance lens. This design feature ensures no optical element movement whatsoever and stands when used in any direction or under any circumstances.
Elevation and Windage adjustments in a click!
With the ¼ MOA clicks, you can make elevation adjustments of 100 MOA and Windage adjustments of 70 MOA.
You also have a choice of three models. Two are non-illuminated and come with either a MOAR or Forceplex reticle. The third option is LED illuminated with an MOAR illuminated reticle. All reticles are SFP (Second Focal Plane).
More time in the field…
If you are a regular at-dawn or dusk hunter, then we recommend the illuminated reticle model. This will give you that extra ‘field time.
- An extremely solid and robust build.
- Sleek design.
- Choice of two non-illuminated and one illuminated reticle models.
- Uncompromising performance and reliability.
- Crystal clear clarity is yours.
- Top price bracket for the best long range scope under $1000.
- Some may find it on the heavy side.
4 Rudolph Optics Tactical Riflescope T1-062450-T3 – Best Quality Long Range Scope Under $1000
Shooters who are not yet familiar with Rudolph Optics need to be aware of the quality this long-range scope offers. On the other hand, those familiar with the company will know exactly what sort of quality they are being offered.
This Tactical T1 scope offers excellent value against other manufactured scopes that are double the price (and more!).
Much more than just a pretty face!
Aesthetically, this matte-finished scope is designed to please. It will look extremely stylish on any weapon you place it on. Looks are all well and good, but it is the performance that counts. You get this in excess with the Rudolph Optics Tactical T1 long-range rifle scope.
Long-distance sharpshooters will be very comfortable with the 6-24x magnification and the top quality (50mm) objective lens. However, there is much more to this beast of a scope than that!
Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, it has a 30mm diameter tube. Measurement-wise, it is 13.8-inches in length and weighs in at 23.8-ounces (1.48-lbs). The quality, robust, build is water, fog, and shockproof. You can also be assured that this scope will function in any weather conditions you find yourself in.
Superb lens sharpness…
If absolute top-notch lens quality for the price paid is what you are after, look no further. The lenses have several top-tier coatings that ensure extremely efficient light transmission. This is regardless of the magnification level you are using.
The image quality received is superb. This stands whether you are shooting during the day or in those bountiful twilight hours.
A T3 reticle to please…
The excellent SFP (Second Focal Plane) T3 reticle remains consistent, regardless of whether the prey you are targeting is at the close, medium, or long distance.
In the case of long-distance targeting, you can estimate windage and other distance-affected factors for specific holdover points. The scope is also calibrated in true .25 MOA values @ 20x magnification. Zero re-indexing after sighting-in is also offered.
This is what you call eye relief consistency…
High powered rifles with scopes attached need to handle the expected strong recoil. One aspect of this comes in maintaining good and consistent eye relief, no matter what magnification setting you have it on.
In this regard, you could not ask for more. Eye relief on this Tactical T1 scope only changes between 3.7 and 3.8-inches, regardless of the magnification setting used. This offers reliability and is more than sufficient to avoid any possible ‘scope eye’ injury.
- Stylish quality but built to last.
- The lens quality is hard to beat at this price.
- Very consistent eye relief regardless of magnification.
- Hunters will find the reticle perfect for their purpose.
- Other scopes of this quality cost far more.
- Turrets could be more tactile.
5 Burris Veracity Riflescope w/ Ballistic E1 FFP Reticle – Brightest Long Range Scope Under $1000
The shooting community is well aware of the quality Burris produces at prices that are seen as acceptable. This Burris Veracity rifle scope is a point in case.
Shoots to 1000 yards; machined for up to 700 yards…
This top-tier Burris scope will allow you to hit targets up to 1000 yards away. However, it has been specifically designed and machined with trajectory compensation calculated out to 700 yards.
Those hunters who make that sort of distance their domain will appreciate this factor. It comes with between 5-25x magnification and a quality 50mm objective lens.
Lenses that are a pleasure to use!
The included lenses are of quality design and offer fantastic brightness and clarity. This is regardless of what time of day you are out shooting. Distant prey will show up clearly. And you will also identify anything that happens to be hiding in the shadows.
A large field of view at close ranges, coupled with rapid target acquisition at longer ranges, is yours. The ability to zoom 5x in the blink of an eye is easily possible. This functionality comes thanks to the convenient turning dial that is located close to the eyepiece.
The turret adjustment is smooth…
Featuring side and top-mounted turrets, you have smooth, audible, turret clickability. This allows adjustments for windage, elevation, and parallax compensation, depending on the situation you are in.
Due to the smoothness and sound of each click, your chosen position setting will always be known. Just one issue to be aware of is that there is no visible turret setting markings.
- Machined specifically for 700 yards.
- Clarity of the lens image is excellent.
- Rapid zoom change functionality.
- Smooth rotating turrets.
- No clear turret markings.
6 Nikon Prostaff P5 4-16x42SF Riflescope 16622 – Best Budget Long Range Scope Under $1000
This is the first of our Nikon long-range scopes. Price-wise it is an excellent choice and will come in at the very low end of any shooter’s $1000 budget.
Nikon’s quality glass is assured…
Nikon Sport optics are renowned for their glass quality. While the Prostaff family comes in a variety of models, we will be concentrating on their P5 4-16X magnification, with a 42mm objective lens.
Along with other optics in this range, you can be assured of clear viewing images. This is thanks to the fully multi-coated optics.
High performance in most conditions…
The scope is built from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and has been designed to be water and fog proof. This means to use in general or poor weather conditions is achievable.
It comes with a 1-inch tube diameter and includes a BDC, Second Focal Plane (SFP) reticle. Measurement-wise, it is 13.5-inches in length and weighs an acceptable 17.3-ounces (1.08-lbs).
Spot-on Ballistic Technology and more…
The Prostaff P5 is capable of being optimized for any load or caliber. You can then add the unique Nikon Spot-On Ballistic Technology, which ensures ease of adjustments and good accuracy.
The quick focus eyepiece includes a ‘smooth-turn’ aluminum ring and rubber eye guard. This gives shooters a crisp reticle focus and enhances fast target acquisition. In terms of eye-relief, you will benefit from between 3.7 and 4-inches. This should be seen as sufficient to avoid any concerns over ‘scope eye’ injury.
Adjustability is easy…
The side focus parallax adjustment knob gives the ability to adjust without having to change the shooting position. Then there are spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets. These knobs give windage and elevation adjustments and can be zero-reset once you have sighted in. This certainly makes for easy references when field adjustments are required.
For those shooters who need a little more, this best long-range scope under $1000 is also compatible with the Spot-On Custom turrets that Nikon offer.
- Quality Nikon glass.
- Excellent value for shooters on a tight budget.
- Spot On Ballistic Technology.
- Ease of adjustment.
- Good eye relief.
- Those who shoot regularly will want more.
- Mounting kit is not included.
- Many feel the lens covers are inadequate.
7 Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope – Most Versatile Long Range Scope Under $1000
We move back up the price ladder with this one, but it is a very nice climb! Trijicon optics are a quality force to be reckoned with.
How many choices do you want?
One thing is for sure. You are not short of choices when looking at the Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20×50 riflescope. As the product name suggests, you get 5-20x magnification along with a 50mm objective lens.
But you do not have to stop there. Trijicon offers ten different models of various configurations. These choices include different reticles, types of illumination, and a variety of included accessories.
Ideal for hunting in any weather or light conditions…
Shooters will not have to be concerned with the weather or lighting conditions they are shooting in. The AccuPoint 5-20×50 rifle scope comes with a solid anodized aluminum body and 30mm tube diameter.
The design lends itself to fog, water, and shock proofing. As with all Trijicon products, this scope has been tested to Mil-Spec and is designed to withstand any expected harsh recoil.
Recoil issues are particularly important in terms of given eye relief on any rifle scope. Trijicon has you covered here. This best long-range scope under $1000 affords very comfortable, long eye relief.
Both eyes open…
As for the illuminated reticle(s), this provides such a clear aiming point that it draws the shooter’s eye for rapid engagement. It should also be noted that ‘both eyes open’ shooting can be realized.
Then there is the dual-illumination system. This functions by automatically adjusting to your current light conditions. But, you do have a choice. There is also a manual brightness override option to suit your needs and make target acquisition even easier.
Shooters will benefit from edge-to-edge clarity when viewing. The fully multi-coated broadband anti-reflective glass sees to that. It offers excellent light transmission, true color, and detail… all with zero distortion.
A reticle to be reckoned with…
The SFP (Second Focal Plane) tritium aiming point illuminated reticle really must be mentioned.
This alone makes it one of the best long-range scope models under $1000. The reticle maintains its size, regardless of what magnification between 5x-20x zoom you have it set at. With this, you are assured of fast ranging, holdovers, and target image quality that remains resolutely crisp and clear.
Giving the ability to also hunt during darker daylight or at night, this is an all-purpose hunting scope for purists.
- Quality scope from a quality manufacturer.
- Value compared to quality is second to none.
- Excellent choice of models with accessories.
- Image clarity is excellent.
- Good eye relief.
- A top-notch SFP reticle choice.
- Hunt during the day, in low-light or at night.
- Very much at the upper limit of the $1000 range.
8 Athlon Optics Midas TAC Riflescopes – Most Reliable Long Range Scope Under $1000
This best long-range scope under $1000 comes from Athlon Optics and is their Midas TAC 6-24×50 model.
Well respected, well-priced…
Athlon Optics has built a reputation for producing well-made scopes at attractive prices. This Midas TAC 6-24X50 model certainly fits that bill. It comes with a choice of three different FFP (First Focal Plane) reticles.
These are the APRS2 Mil, APRS3 Mil, and APLR4 Moa models. We will concentrate on the APRS2 Mil reticle model. But all three scope builds offer similar design and quality.
The benefits of an FFP reticle are seen in the fact that the reticle changes sizes as you move magnification settings – in this case, between 6 and 24x
Built to withstand the rough and tumble of hunting…
Experienced hunters know only too well about the rough and tumble that hunting pursuits regularly involve. Those shooters new to hunting will quickly find out that it is part of the sport!
When out on hunting expeditions, you need equipment that you can rely on. The Midas TAC 6-24X50 scope gives you that. It is built from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, which is fog/waterproof and shock/impact resistant. This means it will roll with the expected conditions you need to put it and yourself through.
Excellent clarity across the entire spectrum…
The HD glass, fully multi-coated lenses, sit in the ‘advanced’ category and must be seen as a big plus. They work to enhance your chosen target appearance at all distances.
Thanks to the multi-coating quality, three significant benefits are offered:
- Reflected light is effectively reduced.
- The transmission of light works to provide a brighter image.
- XPL coating on the exterior lenses gives greater protection from such things as oil, dirt, and scratches.
Excellent clarity across the entire spectrum will be yours. As for shooting in low/poor light conditions, or at prey in shadows, the illuminated reticle makes this highly achievable.
More on the reticle…
The APRS2 FFP MIL reticle has been designed with precision and accurate ranging capability in mind. This is regardless of whether you use it for range practice, competition, or long-range hunting applications. It allows shooters to rapidly determine distance, holdover positions, and to make any necessary windage corrections.
How does it work?
In brief, this unique design consists of fine .2 mil hash mark increments. These cover from the center to six mils left and right.
Once elevation is dialed in, you get a quick windage holdover position. From there, the floating 0.05 (0.06) center-dot then draws your vision directly on to the target. This enables for ‘blink of an eye’ target engagement.
Two other worthy features…
You also get a hard zero stop feature that ensures ease of repeatability. This allows the locking down of zero and dials back to it with complete precision. Then there is the capped windage turret, which prevents any accidental adjustments.
- Very good quality at an acceptable price.
- Robust build.
- Quality, fully multi-coated glass, and XPL coating.
- Bright, sharp images.
- Choice of illuminated reticle models – all highly effective.
- Precision zero stop system.
- Capped windage turrets.
- Make sure you like the MIL reticle. If not, go for the more expensive MOA (still good value!).
9 Leupold VX-3i LRP Riflescope – Most Durable Long Range Scope Under $1000 with High Durability
Next up is a long-range scope from the renowned Leupold line. This is their VX-3i LRP 6.5-20X50mm model with a side scope focus feature.
How many options?
Earlier in the review, we covered a Trijicon AccuPoint model that came in 10 different configurations. Leupold has gone one better. This model gives you eleven options!
You have a wide and varied choice in terms of:
- Reticles: two CCH; Two Impact-29 MOA; One Impact-60 MOA; Four Tactical Milling; and Two TMOA.
- Focal Plane: six models come in the SFP (Second Focal Plane); and Five in the FFP (First Focal Plane).
The model we will mention is the VX-3i LRP 6.5-20X50. It comes with an Impact-29 MOA, ¼ MOA adjustment click value, FFP reticle, and side focus parallax feature. This model also comes with included Bungee Lens Covers. Other models offer a variety of accessories. Rest assured, all 11 models are built to the same robustness and precision.
A scope that will cope….
Avid hunters need a tough mentality and equipment that will cope with usage. In this respect, the Leupold VX-3i LRP 6.5-20×50 is with you all the way.
Constructed from 6061-T6 aluminum, it is 100% water and fog proof and has been designed to protect against shock damage. To prove this, Leupold put the scope to the test through their “Punisher” recoil simulation machine. This tests their scopes to 5,000 impacts before they are released into the market.
If that is not enough, this optic is better at dispersing recoil energy than any other scope in its category.
Is dawn and/or dusk shooting your want?
When it comes to pairing with a very wide variety of rifle builds, this scope fits the bill.
The inclusion of Leupold’s proprietary Twilight Max Light Management System is another crucial factor. It is the perfect partner for dawn and/or dusk shooting. We say this due to the combination of excellent lens clarity due to coatings that are ‘full-spectrum.
You benefit from an additional twenty minutes of shooting light at the beginning and end of the day’s shooting hours.
The clarity of the image is excellent, and the field of view is impressive. It is a great choice for those high-power rifles and will serve you up to 1000 yards with accuracy and precision.
- Top-quality build from a top-quality company.
- Built and tested to last.
- Second-to-none in terms of dispersing recoil energy.
- Excellent model choice.
- Made for target or hunting applications.
- Perfect for dawn/dusk shooters.
- More than acceptable eye relief (between 3.6-4.4-inches).
- Side focus parallax may take some getting used to.
10 Nikon Black FX1000 4-16x50SF Riflescope 16514 – Best Illuminated Long Range Scope Under $1000
We finish off our best long-range scope under $1000 reviews with another Nikon model. This is the BLACK FX1000 4-16X50SF Riflescope.
Are you after an illuminated reticle?
We have been down the well-trodden path of mentioning the glass excellence that Nikon provides. You can be assured this model offers this.
In terms of illumination, this scope sports an illuminated FFP (First Focal Plane) MRAD reticle. It comes with 10x illumination power settings, with an ‘off’ position between each. And it’s powered by a CR2032 battery. It weighs an acceptable 24.5-ounces (1.53-lbs) and is 14.8-inches in length. Eye relief of between 3.6 and 4-inches is also yours.
As the model name suggests, you get 4-16x magnification and excellent light transmission from the 50mm SF multi-coated objective lens.
Functions in all weather, with ease of adjustment…
Built using aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, it comes with a 30mm main body tube. The scope is shock, fog, and waterproof and ready to withstand the expected rigors of hunting. You also get an included sunshade with your purchase.
Dialing-in is made easy thanks to the side parallax adjustments. As for turret adjustments, audible clicks are part of this setup. This means no head/shooting positional changes are necessary once you are in position and ready to adjust. The quick focus eyepiece certainly helps in this regard.
Return to zero feature plus turret type compatibility…
Nikon’s proprietary return-to-zero stop feature is worthy of mention. Once this is set up, you will retain your chosen zero point until there is a need to change it.
Those shooters who use ‘Spot On’ custom turrets will also be pleased to know that the Nikon BLACK FX1000 4-16x50SF scope is fully compatible.
- Quality glass and objective lens.
- MRAD, illuminated, reticle.
- Quite stiff adjustments until ‘broken in.’
So, what are the Best Long Range Scope Under $1000?
Based on our above-reviewed lineup, here are a couple of them that we reckon are some of the top players that you should take a look into, starting with the…
Shooters on tighter budgets will find this is a very good choice. It offers acceptable quality at a very keen price. Or the…
However, since with this review, we’d concentrated on scopes up to the $1000 mark, this the Leupold VX-3i LRP has to be the winner. This beauty comes from a top-quality scope manufacturer that stands by its tried and very heavily tested optics. Eleven model choices are available, and none will be beaten in terms of dispersing recoil energy.
You can then look at the fact that it gives more than acceptable eye relief and is designed for precise accuracy. This is regardless of if used for target, tactical, or hunting applications. The bonus comes for dawn and dusk shooters. The Leupold proprietary Twilight Max Light Management System has to make this a ‘go-to’ choice.
When it comes to the best long range scope under $1000, there are many good choices. And there is sure to be a model to suit your needs and wallet perfectly.
Shooting awaits you.