Best long range rifle scope for the money (Year 2018)

If you are a long range shooting lover, then you know that taking the perfect shot requires precision and magnification. You can’t stay from 500 yards and get a headshot, or even a body shot when you don’t have an Eagle’s eye. You would, of course, need to magnify your view. Now, this is where you need the best long range rifle scope for the money. It doesn’t matter what distance the target is, with the proper riflescope, and as long as it’s within sight, you can score a kill.

Our focus in this article is helping you select the best long range rifle scope for the money no matter your budget. These riflescopes are of course coming with great glass, and able to transmit light at high levels thereby producing crisp, clear picture of the target even at insanely long ranges. When talking of best rifle scopes, durability is a key factor, so we’ll be looking at very durable rifle scopes which can withstand the elements (fog-proof, waterproof).







Bushnell Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle



Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm



Bushnell Elite Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle ERS



NightForce SHV 4-14×56 .250 MOA 30mm


Buyer’s guide:

We can’t talk of the best long range rifle scope without having a brief guide for interested buyers. This guide would answer all the right questions you are concerned about, making sure you are spending your hard-earned money on the right optics.

How much does a long range rifle scope cost?

Rifle scopes have varying price tags, and long range rifle scopes are usually more expensive due to the magnification. A true long-range rifle scope can cost from as low as $200 to as high as $4000 depending on the magnification, brand and glass quality. These riflescopes can shoot targets at about 1000 yards away without issues and are best for the typical hunter who’s serious on bagging that kill.

Is buying a long range riflescope online ideal?

Hunters and general outdoor lovers get most of their gears online, so really there’s no problem with getting your scope online. If you prefer to have a hands-on feel and take a keen look at the gear before purchasing, then you can head over to your outdoor gear stores within your area to compare and have a look at options available before you purchase your gear.

What kind of activity can I use my long range riflescope for?

Before you buy a rifle scope, you are expected to already have a preferred activity in mind because the different scopes are specifically built for different purposes. For beginner rifle handlers, hunting is a prominent sport you can try with a long range riflescope. Except you are planning to become the next Deadshot, there’s no reason for having a long range tactical riflescope.

What should I look out for before buying long range rifle scopes?

  1. Quality glass: Long range scopes should be made of high-quality glass because the higher the quality of the glass, the better and clearer the images produced at short and long distances will be. Also, parallax and windage effects like Mirage will be restricted.
  2. Buy from reputable companies: These days, almost every company produces scopes. You might want to take some time to research for companies that produce scopes with the best optics to avoid causing you eye discomfort due to poor glasses and lenses.
  3. First Focal Plane (FFP) Reticle: Since you would be zooming a lot, considering you are going to be using the riflescope for long range shooting, FFP reticles are recommended due to their ability to retain their size no matter the zoom level.
  4. Precision instruments: Scopes with precision instruments like tactical and lockable turrets which are adjustable are recommended. They should match the reticle with MOA or mil-dot markings.
  5. Etched-in reticle: These reticles prevent the crosshair from getting loose from the glass which is usually the key reason for reticle problems.
  6. Magnification power: This is another key thing to consider before buying any long-range rifle scope. Since you would be shooting targets at a distance typically 1000 yards and above, the lens scope should have greater magnification power. Power ranges should start at 5-6X and go up to 16-18X.
  7. Larger lens objectives: Go for lenses with larger objects which should give you a clear field of view and help you maintain it even when you zoom to a higher range. Typically, lenses with objectives of around 40mm are good, and those with 50mm are great.
  8. Dealing with kick back: Go for scopes with padded or spring-loaded turrets to effectively handle kickbacks when shooting at long ranges.
  9. Budget: Your budget is going to tell you what long range rifle scope you can buy. If you are looking for the recommended budget for a long range rifle scope, then $750 to $1500 is reasonable. Long range rifle scopes below the mark are still great but would most likely lack one of the several features you are expecting to get from the riflescope. There is higher end $2000 and above riflescope but those are only recommended for the serious shooter with premium budgets.
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Products Reviews

1. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope

This 1.3 pounds Bushnell rifle scope makes it to our list of the best long range rifle scope for the money and with good reasons too. It’s the cheapest on our list standing, but it sure packs a few good features.

This Bushnell Optics 223 BDC Riflescope delivers optimum performance by getting shooters max accuracy even at a distance.

Built on a 44m tube; this riflescope has a magnification range of 4.5X to 18X which is good enough for hunting and shooting at targets situated at 500 yards away. It features target turrets which come in handy when you want to get your adjustments pinpoint accurate.

The Bushnell Optics Drop Zone riflescope also utilizes a caliber-specific reticle that sees all rounds are accurately expended. This riflescope zeroes at 100 yards and has the aim pointed far away 500 yards giving you the opportunity to magnify the image for a precise shot.

The Bushnell BDC Reticle Riflescope has its optics fully multicoated resulting in crisp, bright imagery while fast focus eyepiece helps the riflescope maintain accuracy.

The lens is Nitrogen purged, aimed at getting rid of moistures trapped inside while an O-ring is used to seal it up to prevent moisture and dust from penetrating.

It’s made of aluminum alloy which is said to be highly durable, this alloy is anodize-finished and sealed to keep the insides free from invasion by elements.

This Bushnell Riflescope is scratchproof, rustproof, waterproof and fog-proof making it a great all-weather shooting accessory.

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Features Roundup

  • Thanks to the great optics, clarity is impeccable.
  • It is designed with high-quality materials
  • Its aluminum alloy body is sturdily made and built to last
  • It features target turrets for a precise, pinpoint adjustment (1/4 MOA click value)
  • Waterproof, shockproof, fog proof and scratch proof
  • It weighs about 1.3 pounds
  • Can be used to take out targets at 500 yards away
  • The multicoated optics delivers superb brightness
  • The side focus parallax adjustment makes long range targeting more accurate

Overall, the Bushnell 223 BDC Riflescope offers great value for long range shooters for their money. It’s priced decently and features multicoated optics for enhanced brightness no matter the range of the target.

2. Bushnell Elite Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle ERS Riflescope

Bushnell is a leading rifle scope maker with several impressive looking and very functional rifle scopes made for specific reasons. This Elite illuminated rifle scope is a typical long distance riflescope designed for flexibility of use, reliability, clarity, and optical precision.

The Bushnell Elite Mil-Dot Reticle Riflescope use an ultra-wide coating which helps it to boost the brightness of the image(s) captured at both dust and dawn. The riflescope is also argon purged aimed at keeping it reliable for years to come.

The riflescope has a magnification range of 6X to 24X able to pick up objects which are over 1000 yards away. It’s also has a 50mm objective lens and offers good eye relief for shooters.

This like most modern riflescopes is rainproof and fog-proof with Rain Guard HD anti-fog technology which helps keep the lens clean and clear in any weather condition.

Features Roundup

  • It is argon purged
  • It’s built sturdy and made with high-quality materials which have undergone critical tests
  • Delivers stunning display in high definition (HD) thanks to high-end optics
  • It has a stunning aesthetic look and build to last
  • Comes with Rain Guard HD an anti-fog tech that ensures the lens is clear no matter the weather
  • It has a good magnification range of 6X to 24X as well as a 50mm objective lens
  • Features illuminated Mil-Dot reticle
  • Multi-coated optics to aid better light transmission and production of stunningly clear images
  • Has target turrets

Overall the Bushnell Elite illuminated mil-dot riflescope remains a top choice for long range shooters. The magnification range, the sturdy tube and the powerful tube all make this Bushnell Riflescope a good mention and a riflescope worth checking out if you plan to shoot at distances of 500 yards and above.

3. NightForce SHV 4-14×56 .250 MOA 30mm Riflescope

The Nightforce SHV Riflescope is a good looking, very effective long range riflescope with a 30mm tube. It’s built on a sturdy, well scaled one-piece scope body and has 56mm objective lens.

This riflescope has a one-quarter MOA of elevation with windage MOA pegged at about 70. The magnification range of the NightForce SHV riflescope is 4X to 14X which is sufficient for long range hunts and also an effective eye relief system so that even at the highest magnification, you don’t experience strains on your eyes resulting from poor imagery.

The NightForce SHV is designed for both hunting and tactical shooting, and the large 56mm objective lens gives you a wider field of view and also allows better light transmission.

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Due to the low range of the magnification, the NightForce SHV riflescope can be used in settings requiring a broader field of view like when hunting in thick bush areas.

Features Roundup

  • This NightForce SHV riflescope can be utilized in both low light areas and areas with better light, so it’s an effective day and night hunting accessory
  • Offers great eye relief
  • It’s an easy to operate scope with simple enough functions that are easy to learn
  • The NightForce is well built and very sturdy
  • Works effectively in low light
  • Offers users a great field of view
  • Delivers crisp, clear HD imagery of targets
  • It has a nonilluminated MOAR reticle
  • Has a magnification range of 4X to 14X meaning it can handle both near range objects and farther targets up to 500+ yards
  • It’s a bit bulky weighing about 2.5 pounds

Overall, at just under the thousand dollar mark, this NightForce SHV rifle takes precision and dual usage to another level. It has a good magnification range, a good objective lens, and a great 30mm tube. It’s worth considering for long range rifle scopes which are well worth the money.

4. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle

The optics of any scope worth considering should be well worth the money you plan splashing on it, and the Nikon M-308 riflescope has a great optic which is as clear as can be.

This riflescope was built to handle high caliber guns like a .308 with speeds reaching up to 2680 FPS for each bullet discharged.

This Nikon Riflescope has a magnification range of 4X to 16X which is good for long range shooting or hunting. The riflescope has an objective lens of 42mm, and the optical system is fully multi-coated.

It’s designed to be waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof while the quick-focus eyepiece lets you instantly acquire a target. It also zeros pretty quickly, might take a few shots, but you should get it taking precise accuracy in no time.

Features Roundup

  • It has a great magnification range of 4-14x
  • It’s well made and has a very simple profile
  • The riflescope is fully multi-coated for better light transmission
  • Offers users quick focus with an eyepiece built for quick acquisition of targets
  • It’s fog proof, shockproof and waterproof making it an all-weather riflescope.
  • It weighs just about 0.3 pounds

Nikon is a well-known maker of solid optics, and the M-308 doesn’t disappoint. Priced reasonably at under the 500 dollar mark, this riflescope delivers precision, sturdiness, and a good eye relief. It’s good magnification makes it a good option for shooters looking for great long-range rifle scopes.

Final Thoughts

For some hunters, long range hunting is a more effective way of taking out targets as the animals would be taken unawares. If you are interested in long range shooting, then you should have a riflescope which can handle long range shots.

Our list of the best long range rifle scope for the money is a good place to start and shows you what to consider before paying for a rifle scope, what kind of scope to get and best of all, some of the best rifle scopes you can snag for your long range shooting/hunting needs.