Things to know before buying a long-range scope

Finding the right optic for distance shooting, no matter your budget, can be a daunting task. With so many manufacturers and scopes in the marketplace, we wanted to provide some information and our best recommendations for long-range shooters.
Rifle scopes provide the ideal solution for short, medium, and long-range engagements, as well as shots beyond the shooter’s peripheral line-of-sight. The challenge lies in figuring out which rifle scope is right for you. To help, we’ve put together this guide with information on the features necessary to assist in your selection. If you are a recreational long-range shooter shooting from a distance greater than 300 meters, we generally suggest that you consider a variable-power scope as opposed to an illuminated reticle only rifle scopes. 

What makes a good long-range scope?

 There are many things to consider when choosing a scope for distance shooting. There are, of course, the “big ticket” features like magnification and objective lens diameter, but there are also smaller considerations to take into account, such as reticle visibility in low light and tube construction. The following sections will address these concerns.

 Magnification and lens diameter

 Let’s start with what loom largest for any shooter – magnification and lens diameter. 

What magnification is best for long range shooting?

 There is a wide range of magnification levels available for long-range shooters. For example, some hunters may choose to use a low magnification like 3-9x for close range shots, and also use high magnification like 10-25x or higher for long range shots. Shooters who are looking at military or law enforcement optics should look at fixed power options such as 3.5-10x or 4-16x.

How should I mount my scope? 

For maximum accuracy, we recommend that you use a 3-inch tube for your scopes. For those who are using long range scopes with their AR platforms, we also suggest the use of precision-tapped mounts like the Primary Arms Red Dot Mount RMR Quick Detach Spacer. 

What kind of scope do I need for 500 yards?

 Most long-range shooters are looking for magnification in the range of 10x to 20x for the best bottom line performance. For a typical 1000 yard shot, most long range shooters will be looking at a magnification combination between 10x and 16x. For extreme shots like 1,000 yards or more, we recommend that a shooter consider the use of an illuminated reticle scope or electronic ranging system that allows for pinpoint precision at longer distances. 

How far can you shoot with a 12X scope?

 Some shooters will be tempted to use a 12X scope for long range shooting, but going above 12X magnification can make your objectives suffer and your shots less accurate.

  What is the best scope for long range hunting?

 It is very important to mount your rifle scope properly. If you choose the wrong height, windage will occur and accuracy will be thrown off. When looking for a long-range scope and mount, make sure you choose mounts that are high enough on the receiver to get proper eye relief. We have a variety of mounts available for this reason. 

What is the 6.5 Creedmoor? 

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a long-range cartridge that is making a big splash within the long-range shooting community. The cartridges development can be traced back to 2006 when Hornady introduced their extended range ammunition for the 338 Lapua Magnum, a .30 caliber cartridge that had an optimal ballistic coefficient and muzzle velocity of .339 lbs and 2880 fps respectively. For those who have been around for a while, this is known as the “old” 6.5mm/.264-inch. 

What is the best scope to put on a 6.5 Creedmoor?

Short range and medium range tactical scopes are built for precision, and a 6.5 Creedmoor is one of the top long-range shooting calibers on the market today. Selecting between a 20x50mm or 32x56mm quality scope for the 6.5 Creedmoor can be a tough decision. With that in mind, our recommendation is to start with a higher magnification scope and then change magnification if accuracy becomes an issue at extended ranges.

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