Best 1000 Yard Scope: Ultimate Guide!

by David Lane

February 22, 2024

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Shooting and hitting targets at 1,000-yards is a milestone for most long range shooters and something to be proud of.

Although it’s a challenge that has a lot to do with the shooter’s skill and judgment, having good enough tools (rifle and scope) is a must. Having better gear makes the process easier and repeatable.

The most important gear here is a “good enough” scope. While modern rifles and good ammo work fine, you need a scope that’s “good enough” to see extreme long range targets and offers precise adjustments to hit them accurately.

But how do you choose the right 1000 yard scope? Don’t worry, I’ve done the research for you and created a list of the best 1000 yard scopes so that you can pick the one that best fits your need.

Before we get into the list, let me explain how I picked the best 1000-yard scopes.

How I Chose the Best 1000 Yard Scopes

When aiming to hit targets at 1000 yards, the right scope is what makes or breaks your shot. With over two decades of shooting experience under my belt, I’ve tested out several scopes tailored for long-range precision. This hands-on approach has given me valuable insights into important aspects of a long-range scope.

Now, I know what works for one shooter might not be the best fit for someone else. That’s why I’ve teamed up with some of my friends who are experts in long-range shooting to get a broader perspective. Combining their know-how with my own experience, I’ve put together this list of the best scopes for 1000-yard shooting. Picking a scope for 1000-yard shooting is a personal decision, but I believe this list will guide you to the right one for you. Let’s jump right in and check it out!

Best 1000 Yard Scopes

Vortex Viper PST II 5-25x50
  • New Shooter Friendly
  • Great Value
  • The features you need, none of the fluff
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Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56
  • Japanese glass
  • Designed and assembled in the USA
  • A reticle for everyone
Check Price
Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5x27x56
  • Industry-defining lifetime warranty
  • Trusted by competitors and hunters alike
Check Price
Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 4.5x29x56
  • Best in class value/cost ratio
  • Gen 2 update and upgrades made in 2020
Check Price
Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56
  • Championship-winning scope
  • Wide adoption from military, police, and competitors
  • Nearly unbreakable
Check Price
Kahles K525i 5-25x56
  • Innovative parallax adjustment
  • Outstanding glass quality
  • Wide range of reticles
Check Price
Zero Compromise 527 5-27x56
  • Ultra durable
  • Near perfect glass
  • Perfect reticles
Check Price

Best 1000 Yard Scopes

  1. Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50
  2. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56
  3. Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5x27x56
  4. Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 4.5x29x56
  5. Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56
  6. Kahles K525i 5-25×56
  7. Zero Compromise 527 5-27×56

Scope Specifications

Below is a list of our Best 1000 Yard Scopes. Now, you can compare and line up the specs from each of the products and help you make the best decision possible.

Best 1000 Yard ScopesMagnification RangeFocal PlaneWeightLengthFoV @ 100y
Vortex Viper PST II5-25xFFP31.2 Oz15.79in24.1ft/4.8 ft
Leupold Mark 5HD5-25xFFP30Oz15.7in20.4ft/4.2ft
Vortex Razor HD Gen II4.5-27xFFP48.5 Oz14.4in25.3ft/4.4ft
Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 24.5-29xFFP38.5 Oz14.3in24.8ft/3.83ft
Nightforce ATACR7-35xFFP39.3 Oz16in15ft/3.4ft

Kahles K525i

5-25XFFP34.2oz14.8"21.7ft/4.4ft
Zero Compromise 5275-25xFFP34.2 Oz14.8in21.7ft/4.4ft

Best 1000 Yard Scope Reviews

Now we’ve had an overview and looked at our list, let us take the time to individually review each item. In this section we’ll be revisiting our specs, speaking about the product, and looking at the pros and cons.

1. Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50

Vortex Viper PST II 5-25x50

Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50

A Goldilocks optic that is perfect for shooters new to long range. This won’t break the bank and still let you reach out very far.

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  • Reliability A+
  • Glass B+
  • Reticle A
  • Ergonomics A-
  • Value A+

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Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50

  • Magnification Range 5-25X
  • Focal Plane FFP
  • Weight 31.2oz
  • Length 15.79″
  • FoV @ 100 Yards 24.1ft/4.8ft
  • Illuminated Yes
  • Total Elevation Adjustment 70MOA
  • Tube Size 30mm
  • Zero Stop Yes

Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50 Review

If you follow any of the larger long-range shooting communities, you may have seen that the Vortex Viper PST II has become something of a meme in the last year or two because of how universally recommended it is to new shooters.

While some people abhor trends and what is popular, sometimes there is a very good reason behind something being owned by almost everyone — the Vortex Viper PST II is a perfect example of that.

It is one of the best long range rifle scopes that you can get your hands on. The price is pretty low, the features are nice, the optical performance is good enough, and it is durable enough to survive anything you throw at it.

Basically, this is the perfect place for a newer shooter to start out if you’re looking for a scope that can reach out.

However, you get what you pay for when it comes to optics and while the Viper PST II does punch above its price point (something rare in optics) it is still a $700-ish scope. While the glass holds up great to 800 or so yards, it suffers at around 1,000+ and doesn’t give the clearest picture.

That’s really kind of unavoidable for most scopes and honestly not impactful enough to cause a major problem for people, but it is worth mentioning.

That said — I’ve put a lot of lead on target at 1,000 yards and beyond with a Viper PST II and so can you! That’s why I have ranked Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50 1st in my best 1000 yard scope article and you can read the full review here.

Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50 Pros and Cons

  • Huge value from every dollar spent
  • Great tracking
  • Vortex warranty
  • Ford F-150 of scopes, gets the job done
  • Ford F-150 of scopes, everyone has one

Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50 Deals

2. Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56

One of the few optics that are assembled in the USA, Leupold puts their money where their mouth is and delivers a high-quality scope.

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  • Reliability A-
  • Glass A
  • Reticle B+
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Value B-

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A-

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A+

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Leupold Mark 5HD Specs

  • Magnification Range 5-25X
  • Focal Plane FFP
  • Weight 30oz
  • Length 15.7″
  • FoV @ 100 Yards 20.4ft/4.2ft
  • Illuminated Yes
  • Total Elevation Adjustment 120MOA
  • Tube Size 35mm
  • Zero Stop Yes

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 Review

Everyone knows that the best glass you can get for optics comes from Germany. The second-best comes from Japan and the cheap stuff comes from China.

When it comes to scope construction, Germany does it best, Japan is next, and China does the lower-end ones.

But what about America? Well, for a lot of reasons, there just isn’t much done in terms of scopes in the USA.

Leupold is one of the rare exceptions to those rules.

While they still use glass made in Japan, Leupold does their assembly in the United States. If you want a (mostly) USA-made scope, this is what you want.

It’s super tough, tracks perfectly, and the glass quality from Japan is amazing. Plus, it’s won many competitions and is a favorite among top shooters like me.

Personally, I dislike Leupold’s pricing because they charge a lot more for the good reticles. But I have to say, if you want an American-made scope, it’s worth the extra money.

While a lot of brands try to use “American-made” as a buzz term to make sales, Leupold makes a best long range scopes while employing Americans.

If you’re not hyped about supporting American workers, then maybe you’ll find more value from another scope. But even ignoring that aspect of it, the MK5 HD is a great long range rifle scope and it takes the 2nd position in my list of best 1000 yard scope article. You can read the full review here.

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 Pros and Cons

  • American made (not including the glass)
  • Japanese Glass (it’s some of the best, so it’s good they use it)
  • Great durability
  • Better reticles come with an upcharge

Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 Deals

3. Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56

Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x56

Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27×56

The Toyota Tacoma of scopes, Vortex Razor HD II has built a solid reputation as an ultra-durable, reliable, outstanding optic.

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  • Reliability A+
  • Glass A
  • Reticle A
  • Ergonomics A
  • Value A+

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A

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A

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Vortex Razor HD Gen II Specs

  • Magnification Range 4.5-27X
  • Focal Plane FFP
  • Weight 48.5oz
  • Length 14.4″
  • FoV @ 100 Yards 25.3/4.4ft
  • Illuminated Yes
  • Total Elevation Adjustment 113.5MOA
  • Tube Size 34mm
  • Zero Stop Yes

Vortex Razor HD Gen II Review

We live in a golden age for scopes and optics, but one of the OGs that started the craze has to be the Vortex Razor HD Gen II.

The Gen II Razor has a long-standing reputation for being ultra-durable, having great glass, perfect tracking, and outstanding performance. 

Made in Japan with Japanese glass the Gen II is super clear and super bright even at 1,000 yards. While it is not as perfect as some of the higher-priced options on this list, it’s an improvement over more mid-tier options like the Viper PST II.

Putting top-shelf glass into the average shooter’s hand is not easy to do, and yet — Vortex did it. They offered the Razor Gen II at a competitive price well below the market standard when it was released, making it accessible to shooters of all budgets. Oh, and they’ve their VIP warranty as well which covers for any defects on this scope.

I love this optic for its great price, but it’s quite heavy – around 10 ounces more than the top-tier competition. That’s because it relies on older, heavier components to get the job done.

If you’re shooting a rifle you don’t plan on moving much, weight isn’t an issue. But if you’re planning to mount this on a lightweight rifle, you might face some difficulties.

Taking all these highs and low into consideration, I’ve placed the Vortex Razor HD Gen II in the 3rd place in my list of best 1000 yard scope. You can also read the full review of this scope here.

Razor HD Gen II 4.5x27x56 Pros and Cons

  • A favorite in long range competition shooting
  • Easy to find for a good price
  • Vortex warranty
  • Long in the tooth
  • Significantly heavier than peer options

Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5x27x56 Deals

4. Athlon Cronus BTR Gen II 4.5-29×56

Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 4.5x29x56

Athlon Cronus BTR Gen II 4.5-29×56

A great optic that gives you what you need and nothing you don’t while coming in at an impressive price.

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  • Reliability A+
  • Glass A-
  • Reticle A-
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Value A+

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A

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B

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Athlon Cronus BTR Specs

  • Magnification Range 4.5-29X
  • Focal Plane FFP
  • Weight 38.5oz
  • Length 14.3″
  • FoV @ 100 Yards 24.8ft/3.83ft
  • Illuminated Yes
  • Total Elevation Adjustment 110MOA
  • Tube Size 34mm
  • Zero Stop Yes

Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Review

Maybe I’m a little biased because I own a Gen 1 and Gen 2 Cronus, but for my money, this is the best you can find for a high-quality long range scope.

The Gen 2 Cronus is on my primary PRS rifle and I’ve put a LOT of rounds down range with it, I love it in every respect.

In fact, my Cronus Gen 2 scope has been through a lot – from being remounted countless times to enduring harsh conditions at many matches over the last couple of years. But it’s held up incredibly well through it all.

The Japanese glass quality is great, turrets are super clicky, adjustments are easy to make and smooth, and the reticle is a perfect mix of what I need and what I want. Also, they got you covered with the warranty which is on par with Vortex.

All of that for about $1,600!

That said, Athlon isn’t as famous as some other big brands, but many of us are starting to prefer them more and more. Hence why I ranked it 4th in my best 1000 yard scope list. You can read the full review here.

Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Pros and Cons

  • One of the highest value/cost ratios in the optics market
  • Lifetime unlimited warranty
  • 2020 Gen II update addressed every weakness of the optic
  • Limited reticle options

Athlon Cronus BTR Gen 2 Deals

5. Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56

Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56 F1

Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56

Trusted by the military on multiple levels in multiple magnification ranges, the ATACR line is one of the most battle-proven scopes on the market. 

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  • Reliability A+
  • Glass A
  • Reticle A+
  • Ergonomics A
  • Value B-

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 5 Reviews

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Nightforce ATACR Specs

  • Magnification Range 7-35X
  • Focal Plane FFP
  • Weight 39.3oz
  • Length 16″
  • FoV @ 100 Yards 15ft/3.4ft
  • Illuminated Yes
  • Total Elevation Adjustment 100MOA
  • Tube Size 34mm
  • Zero Stop Yes

Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56 Review

If you need something nearly bomb-proof, Nightforce ATACR is what you’re looking for! 

The ATACR is trusted by militaries worldwide, including the USMC, and chosen by USSOCOM for three different roles. It’s really one of the toughest and most dependable optics ever made.

Built like a tank to withstand anything, this also boasts amazing glass quality, smooth controls, perfect tracking, and everything else you would expect from a top-tier optic.

For shooting at 1,000 yards, I suggest the ATACR 7-35x. Most folks do their shooting between 12x and 20x, but having that 35x top end is great for those really long distances.

While the durability of the ATACR line stands out, Nightforce didn’t cut corners on the rest of the scope.

But with few compromises comes a hefty price tag. Depending on the reticle you pick, an NF ATACR 7-35×56 will cost you around $3,100 to $3,900, not including mount, shipping, tax, and other fees.

That’s a lot of cash. But if you’re going to put your scope through its paces, it’s worth every penny for the unbeatable durability and reliability that Nightforce builds into all their optics. This scope comes in the 5th place in my best 1000 yard scope list and you can read the full review of it here.

Nightforce ATACR 7-35 Pros and Cons

  • Bombproof durability
  • Legendary brand with great support
  • Use it as a club if you run out of ammo
  • Built like a tank, but feels like one too

Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56 Deals

6. Kahles K525i 5-25×56

Kahles K525i 5-25x56

Kahles K525i 5-25×56

Innovative design that leaves others in the dust. You’ve maybe never thought about an ambi-optic, but here it is.

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  • Reliability A+
  • Glass A+
  • Reticle A-
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Value A-

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

B

Based on 1 Reviews

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Kahles K525i 5-25 Specs

  • Magnification Range 5-25X
  • Focal Plane FFP
  • Weight 34.2oz
  • Length 14.8″
  • FoV @ 100 Yards 21.7ft/4.4ft
  • Illuminated Yes
  • Total Elevation Adjustment 104MOA
  • Tube Size 34mm
  • Zero Stop Yes

Kahles K525i 5-25×56 Review

Kahles is one of my top choices for competition shooting because of its parallax design. The dial around the base of the elevation turret makes it easy to adjust from either side and easy to read.

In competition, I and many others normally use holdovers and don’t dial between shots. However, we do adjust our parallax, or we might miss. Kahles’ design makes this much easier.

However, if you’re just prone or off a bench and plinking at 1,000 yards this feature won’t feel as special. 

What I really love about Kahles scopes is their fantastic glass quality, smooth adjustments, and strong durability. Plus, the tracking is always spot on.

While the focus here is on 1,000 yards, the Kahles K525i can easily reach much farther. Its amazing glass and light transmission make spotting targets at extreme distances almost effortless.

With its mechanical perfection, a good reticle, smooth controls, and great durability, you’ve got a winning scope. This scope ranks 6th in my list of best 1000 yard scope article and you can read the detailed review here.

Kahles K525i 5-25 Pros and Cons

  • Totally new way of approaching turret design
  • Ambi windage and parallax
  • Super solid glass quality
  • Price tag

Kahles K525i 5-25×56 Deals

7. Zero Compromise ZC527 5-27×56

Zero Compromise ZC527 5-27×56

Zero Compromise ZC527 5-27×56

When you’re made of money and want the best in life, Zero Compromise.

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  • Reliability A+
  • Glass A+
  • Reticle A
  • Ergonomics A
  • Value A-

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

B-

Based on 3 Reviews

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Zero Compromise 527 Specs

  • Magnification Range 5-27X
  • Focal Plane FFP
  • Weight 37.9oz
  • Length 15.24″
  • FoV @ 100 Yards 21ft/4.5ft
  • Illuminated Yes
  • Total Elevation Adjustment 120MOA
  • Tube Size 36mm
  • Zero Stop Yes

Zero Compromise 527 5-27×56 Review

The title of the best optic brand changes almost every year, but recently, Zero Compromise Optics has been the top contender.

Fairly new as a brand, the minds behind ZCO has been around for a long time and have a proven history.

Using only the best German glass and living up to their name of making zero compromises, ZCO 527 delivered near perfection in terms of glass quality.

Tracking was perfect and durability has proven to be amazing in every respect. 

The 36mm tube on this scope provides plenty of adjustment and a ton of light to work with. With such excellent glass and a large tube, handling dark days, dusk, or shooting into shadows is a breeze.

While most scopes start to struggle at or before 1,000 yards, ZCO is one of the few that can take it and still ask for more. 

But there has to be a downside, right? Well, it’s the price.

ZCO might be the top choice, but it’s pricey – plan to spend about $4,000 just for the scope. If you’re investing this much for the best, you’ll need a good mount too, adding another $200-400. Factor in tax, shipping, and you could easily be looking at $5,000 or more before this scope is on your rifle.

That’s a big investment, but if you can use this scope to its potential, then it’s definitely worth it. While ZCO may not stay on top forever, you can trust it to outlast both you and your rifle. This scope takes the final position, 7th in my list of best 1000 yard scopes. You can read its full review here.

Zero Compromise 527 Pros and Cons

  • Nearly perfect glass
  • Super durable
  • Unbeatable quality
  • So much money

Zero Compromise 527 5-27 Deals

Buyer’s Guide For The Best 1,000-Yards Scopes

All of these scopes will serve you very well for 1,000-yard shooting. All of them have enough elevation for any 1,000-yard cartridge, great durability, good reticles, and glass clear enough to let you see the target, your trace, and your misses if you have a keen eye.

Granted, you’ll get what you pay for. The further you want to shoot the more of a difference you’ll see in different price point optics. $3,000 and $300 in optics might look similar at 100 yards, but at 1,000 it is radically different.

While you can make hits at 1,000 yards with a $300 scope, I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ve tried to include a couple of budget-friendly options in this list so that even the cheapest among them will serve you well.

What Specs Matter Most

While almost all of these specs matter almost all of the time, for 1,000-yard shooting some of them stand out above the rest.

For this kind of truly long-range shooting, I would strongly recommend favoring glass quality above anything else. While features are fairly easy to include on scopes these days, glass quality comes harder and more expensive. 

Magnification Range: Any decent scope will include a few numbers in or after their name such as “3-12×44” or “5-25×56”. The first set of numbers before the X are the magnification range, so 3-12 times magnification and 5-25 times magnification in our two examples.

The number after the X is the objective lens, larger is better for that.

What magnification you need is a bit of a personal choice. However, if you’re shooting long range then I recommend getting almost as much as you can get. 20x would be my minimum for the max side of the range but 25x, 30x, or even 40x is nice to have.

Most people do most of their shooting between 9 and 15ish, but having more when you need it/want it is really nice to have.

FFP or SFP: First focal plane or second focal plane is critical, but I strongly recommend FFP.

FFP means your reticle will change size as you change the magnification. When zoomed out your reticle is smaller, when zoomed in the reticle is much larger. The main benefit of this is that the markings on your reticle will always be accurate — 1 MOA is always 1 MOA, and 1 mil is always 1 mil.

SFP is the opposite, the reticle stays the same size no matter what but the markings are only accurate at 1 magnification level (normally the max magnification). This means your reticle is always easy to see, but it is far less useful since the markings are normally inaccurate or you’re forced to use the max setting.

For hunting and single-set distance competition shooting, SFP works very well. But for all other things, you’ll likely want to stay with FFP.

Weight: If you’re shooting 1,000+ yards, weight is likely not a huge worry for you. Most people don’t hike to their 1,000-yard shooting spots and more weight makes the rifle easier to shoot.

That said, if you do plan on hiking or walking a lot — maybe get something a little lighter.

Field of View: FoV is how much you can see side to side. While more is always nice, it’s not the end of the world. This is more or less dictated by the tube size of the optic and the lens used in it, so for most of these scopes, they are fairly close to each other in FoV.

For 1,000 yards I don’t really find FoV to be critical. If you need to see more because you’re missing badly, zoom out a bit.

Illumination: Just what you would expect, this answers the question “does the reticle light up?”. Illumination is nice to have but not a deal-breaker to me. That said, since long-range shooting often requires shooting in non-ideal conditions or shooting in shadow, I’d rather have illumination if I can.

Total Elevation Adjustment: This is critical normally, but even more so for long-range shots like 1,000 yards. 

First off, this number is kind of a lie. While scopes quote their “total” elevation adjustment, you only actually get to use about half of that. Since reticles are in the middle of the adjustment, you only have about half available to dial with.

120 MOA total becomes 60-ish MOA usable.

But it gets worse, generally speaking, the last 10% or so of the adjustment range can get iffy. Weird colors, bad light transmission, sometimes poor tracking, etc. Assume you have only 90% of the 50% that is truly good for adjustment.

120 MOA total becomes 60 MOA becomes 54 MOA.

So how much is enough? That depends on what you’re shooting. For 6.5 Creedmoor at 1,000 yards you need about 30 MOA. .308 Win at 1,000 yards you’ll need more like 37-40 MOA. .300 Win Mag needs around 30 MOA. .223 Rem is around 40 MOA.

If you’re shooting something else, check the ballistics of your round and look to see how much drop you should expect for 1,000 yards.

Assuming you need something around 30 MOA for your chosen cartridge, you’ll want at least 70 MOA total adjustment. As it so happens, all of the scopes on this list have at least 70 MOA and most of them have 120 MOA.

If you’re using a cartridge that needs more adjustment, you might want to look into scope bases or rings that are angled to give you some extra MOA. The most common is a 20 MOA base and as the name suggests gives you an extra 20 MOA adjustment.

By the way, if you’re not sure of the differences between MOA and MRAD, take a look at our articles on MOA and MRAD!

You Bought A Scope, Now What?

If you’re looking to shoot 1,000 yards this is likely old news to you, but just in case here is the breakdown.

After getting your new fancy scope you’ll want to mount it and zero it. Both are fairly easy and are core topics for you to learn. While you can pay a gunsmith to do it, the process is so easy and so useful that you really should do it yourself.

That said, for mounting a scope the process of choosing what is best for you and how to get it done should be an entire article on its own, so I’ll let a true expert give you the details. Take a look at our How To Mount A Scope: 7 Steps To Installing A Riflescope The Right Way!

Zeroing a scope is very easy, but it’s important to get it right. Doing it wrong will waste time, money, and a lot of ammo.

For a detailed breakdown of the whole process, take a look at these! How To Adjust A Rifle Scope and How To Sight In A Rifle Scope: Zeroing Made Easy!

Wrapping It All Up

And with all of this, you should have a good picture of what scope to buy and what matters most when choosing your scope.

Shooting 1,000 yards or more is a right of passage for long-range shooters and never gets old. Good luck!

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About David Lane

Learning how to shoot at a young age in the Boy Scouts, David now spends most of his time working on or with firearms. Be it shooting, upgrading, building, tinkering, or writing about them -- sharing his passion and knowledge of firearms with others is an everyday occurrence.

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1 COMMENTS

  1. Good content and guidance. Thank you, David. As it relates to rifle scopes, I repeatedly hear the best glass comes from Germany. You also reiterated that opinion in your review. Since that seems to be the thought process of many experienced and well-informed individuals, I’m wondering why the Zeiss LRP didn’t make your review? In fact, I searched your site and I can’t find any mention of Zeiss in the past at all. I’m not being critical, just wondering since Zeiss is in Germany, they have a reputation for high quality glass yet their scopes seem to never be reviewed (unless I’m overlooking a review). Is there a reason for that? I appreciate this website and all the great content you put out. Thank you and well done, David.

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