Tips for Choosing the Best Scope for Long-Range Shooting

Are you looking for ways to maximize the performance of your rifle when shooting at long ranges? If yes, then you’re in the right place!

This comprehensive guide will arm you with all the knowledge you need to pick the perfect scope for your long-range shooting. Every detail is covered, so you’ll be able to make an informed decision and enjoy successful shots time after time.


For most long-range shooting, having a quality scope is essential for accuracy and precision. However, with so many different scopes on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your needs.

Before making a purchase, you should take into consideration the optics of the scope, such as its power level and lens diameter, as well as more advanced features like adjustable reticles and illuminated reticles.

This guide will provide an overview of all of these factors to help you make a more informed decision when shopping for a new scope. It will also inform you of specific features to look out for and common mistakes to avoid when selecting your scope.

By following this complete guide and researching different scope models based on your individual requirements, you can be sure that your money is being well spent on the best quality product for your long-range shooting needs.

Importance of selecting the right scope for long-range shooting

The importance of selecting the right rifle scope for long-range shooting cannot be overstated. A rifle scope provides magnification and aiming reticles that allow for accurate long-range shooting. The key to selecting the ideal scope will depend on your specific needs, as every shooter may have different preferences in terms of magnification or field of view, reticle type and other features. Considerations should include price, brand, durability and intended use.

You’ll want to select a scope that offers maximum clarity at all levels of magnification and light conditions, as well as one that’s waterproof, shockproof and fogproof. An essential feature to look for is an adjustable objective that allows you to focus on targets at additional distances beyond your zero distance setting. This will also allow you to attain accurate shots no matter what environmental conditions are present or if there are slight adjustments needed while honing in on a target at a greater distance than what was initially set up with the rifle scope’s settings.

Variable power scopes offer more versatility in terms of precise settings and allowances, while fixed power scopes offer more immune clarity due to less interior lens movement in addition to reduced cost and weight depending on the individual models – which may be ideal for shotgun-type scenarios like skeet shooting or turkey hunting where absolute precision won’t be apparent during firing events. Other factors such as lens quality, reticle design, turret adjustments or adjustments in defining diopter settings will add an extra layer of functionality allowing shooters a precise level of adjustment when aiming offhand from various points along the way up towards their final destination.

Overview of what will be covered in the guide

This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know when it comes to selecting the best scope for long-range shooting. It will tackle topics such as understanding reticles, lens coatings, objective lens size, parallax adjustments, turret types, and more in order to help you make a well-informed purchase.

Additionally, this guide will provide advice on utilizing the features of a given scope for your needs and tips on proper maintenance and care in order to ensure longevity and accuracy.

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Finally, the guide will discuss budget options recommendations for those who are looking for optically superior quality at an affordable price.


For long-range shooting, you need a scope that is capable of magnifying your target. Magnification can make all the difference when it comes to accuracy. To find the right magnification for your needs, start by understanding your target. Things to consider include the distance you are shooting at, the size of the target and what type of terrain you will be using your rifle in. When selecting a scope, think about how much magnification you need in order to hit a moving or stationary target accurately within the designated range. Additionally, some scopes also offer zoom capabilities and variable power settings that can help with better accuracy at different distances.

When selecting a scope for long-range shooting, it is important to take into consideration factors such as quality and durability before buying one. A good quality lens should be able to deliver clear images consistently at different ranges and regardless of light conditions. Similarly, hardy construction is essential for ensuring reliability in tough conditions when outdoors hunting or participating in tactical activities such as 3 Gun matches or safari trips. You may also want to consider features such as parallax adjustment which helps with both proper eye relief and better accuracy as well as anti-reflective coating which reduces glare from sunlight during hunting sessions or competitions at mid-day times when glare may interfere with optical performance.

Explanation of the importance of magnification in long-range shooting

When choosing a scope for long-range shooting, magnification is one of the main factors you need to consider. The magnification power will determine the size and detail of the image you see when looking through the scope at your target. The higher the magnification level, the further away your target appears to be and thus more accurate shots can be taken. Higher magnifications also allow for greater detail, such as bullet drop compensation or windage adjustments on very long range shots.

In general, higher levels of magnification are preferred for long-range shooting, as lower magnifications can lead to tunnel vision and difficulty tracking moving targets at greater distances. If you plan on taking shots at 500 yards or further then choose a scope with 12x or even 18x magnification capabilities if possible. Also important is making sure that your scope has a wide field of view (FOV) so that you can easily detect targets located just off-center and accurately track moving targets at mid-to-longer ranges.

How to choose the right magnification based on distance and intended use

When choosing the best scope for long-range shooting, the magnification should be based on the intended use, including the distances for which it will be used. Generally speaking, a low magnification is best suited for short- and medium-range shots up to 200 yards, while a higher magnification is better suited for long-range shots over 500 yards.

When selecting a scope, you should consider factors such as durability and quality of construction, image clarity and brightness, lens size and exit pupil diameter, eye relief distance, turret types (adjustable vs. target turrets), reticle types, parallax adjustment capabilities and other features such as zero stop knobs or illuminated reticles.

The right amount of magnification is an important factor in the accuracy of long-range shooting. As the distance increases past 500 yards or so at certain angles certain objects may fade out of view depending on their size with lesser mag scopes. A higher magnification enables more finite aiming points to be seen more clearly while using lower power scopes might mean that certain gun motions on a windy/moving day are rendered invisible in your scope’s scope due to its lesser resolution.

It is important to select an appropriate level of zoom depending on what kind of distances you plan to shoot at and whether or not you plan to customize the settings through a frame dial or rangefinder mechanism. You should also make sure that you opt for lenses with wide fields of view for sharper peripheral vision which makes it easier to acquire targets quickly in practical shooting scenarios in addition to facilitating longer shots by enabling finer level adjustments when calculating trajectory drop curve effects from Holdover/Come Up reticles or similar ballistic devices equipped with ranging/distance measuring features if so desired by a long-range shooter.

Overview of different types of magnification (e.g. fixed vs. variable)

When it comes to long-range shooting, magnification is one of the most important factors. Different types of magnification are available, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to understand these differences when choosing the best scope for long-range shooting.

Fixed magnification scopes are set at a single power level, meaning that they cannot be adjusted after purchase. This type of scope is usually less expensive than a variable ones and offers a fixed field of view (FOV). However, the drawback is that if your target moves or changes distance from you, the image will remain unchanged due to its fixed zoom level.

Variable magnification scopes offer flexibility for different scenarios – you can adjust the zoom level to get closer to your target and maintain accuracy over longer distances. With this type of scope, you can select the correct range or power dependent on your target’s location and size – giving you an advantage in fast changing environments such as hunting or tactical shooting. Variable magnification designs usually have higher prices than fixed units, but their versatility often outweighs this cost difference.

For most long-range shooters looking for an all-purpose optical solution across various environments and distances, a variable powered scope is generally considered the best choice due to its flexibility. However, if your budget doesn’t quite accommodate for a variable model or if you want to keep things simple – then a fixed powered scope may just be the perfect fit for your needs instead!

III. Objective Lens Size

The size of the objective lens determines how much light the scope will gather. As a general rule, a larger objective lens is better when you are shooting at long range. Larger lenses provide more detail and clarity in low light situations and also has a greater magnification capacity. A 40mm or greater size is usually recommended for long-range shooting; however, it’s important to be aware that there can be tradeoffs between large lenses and weight. Heavier scopes may not feel comfortable on lightweight rifles, so if portability and comfort are priorities, smaller lenses may be preferable.

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When dealing with particularly high magnifications, it is usually better to select a larger objective lens that provides more power. This helps avoid blurriness when you’re aiming at distant targets; however, higher magnifications do affect eye relief distance so it’s important to make sure the eye relief matches your eye position for comfortable viewing and accuracy.

Explanation of the importance of objective lens size in long-range shooting

When it comes to long-range shooting, the size of the scope’s objective lens is an important consideration. The larger the objective lens, the more light that can be gathered and therefore more detail is visible in low light conditions. This makes it easier for you to properly aim and also allows you to view targets located at longer distances. An objective lens with a larger diameter also reduces parallax error which can drastically improve accuracy.

The standard for long-range scopes is between 40-54mm, with 42mm being considered the ideal size for a good balance between performance and weight. If your scope has an adjustable objective or AO (adjustable ocular) feature, then you have more options when it comes to setting up your scope for different ranges and distances.

Finally, having an oversized front lens can help minimize tunneling effect in twilight conditions which can decrease accuracy when shooting over long distances. When shopping for optics remember to look out for terms like ‘Target Turret’ which refers to turrets that are specifically designed with precise adjustments in mind — this will give greater control over aiming and will prove valuable during extended range shots.

How to choose the right objective lens size based on distance and intended use

Choosing the right scope for shooting in long distances requires careful consideration of factors such as size, quality of images, and magnification. Before making a purchase decision, here is what to consider when it comes to the objective lens size.

Objective lens size affects how much light is transmitted to your eye. It also impacts image quality in two ways. First, if the exit pupil of the scope is smaller than your eye, some of the light will not be collected and may result in a dim view at higher magnification settings. Second, a larger objective lens size results in clearer images due to more light being gathered and transmitted by the scope.

When using long-range scopes for hunting or target practice, it’s important to understand how distance affects object lens size selection. In general, an objective lens diameter that is appropriate for hunting close game (50 yards or less) will be inadequate for targets further away (200+ yards). As a result, scopes intended for long range distances should feature an objective diameter at least twice as large as those used for closer shots. Following this rule should ensure that your scope has enough power to provide clarity of detail at greater distances.

Overall image quality may also be affected by atmospheric conditions or certain environmental elements such as fog or tree cover; selecting a scope with greater power can prove beneficial in these situations as well. To get maximum performance out of long-range scopes choose an appropriate sized objective with decent power; ranging from 20-50mm depending on your particular need and situation.

Comparison of different objective lens sizes and their advantages and disadvantages

The diameter of the objective lens is an important factor when choosing the best scope for long-range shooting. The size of the lens affects the amount of light that can enter and be used to create a clear image. The most common magnification levels for scopes range from 1X to 30X and higher, so there is a great range of different sizes available in order to get the right magnification for you.

Smaller lenses are most suitable for smaller magnifications, such as those seen in rimfire rifles or handguns. These scopes feature lenses ranging from 14-25 mm in diameter, and due to their reduced size, they are more lightweight and portable than larger scopes. However, this also means that they offer less light transmission, shorter eye reliefs (the distance you need to put your eye from the eyepiece), and smaller exit pupils (the size of the circle of light seen through the scope).

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Medium lenses are most typically used on hunting rifles with medium magnifications usually between 3-9x. These lenses usually measure between 32-50mm in diameter, which allows for better light transmission than smaller lenses but still remain relatively lightweight. However, if higher magnifications are desired then larger lenses should be considered due to their greater ability to let more light pass through into your eye.

Larger objective lens sizes are generally used on high powered long range shooting rifles where greater magnifications (such as 12X – 50X or higher) would be needed. Lenses ranging between 50mm up to 100mm have significantly increased transmission capacity over smaller sizes due to their increased surface area; this combined with longer eye reliefs makes them ideal for long-range shooting applications. Although these scopes offer superior performance they can become very heavy when carrying them around all day so its important that you purchase one that is well built yet lightweight enough at time of use without compromising performance or safety standards.


In conclusion, when selecting a scope for long-range shooting, it’s important to understand the various variables that affect accuracy and performance. First, decide what magnification you need for your intended use. Then consider the lens quality and type of reticle. Finally, be sure to choose the most appropriate mounting system for your rifle and scope.

By taking all of these factors into account you can ensure that your chosen scope will provide the highest possible accuracy and performance for long-range shooting.

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