Got yourself a new shooting stick for hunting and don’t know which optic to go for those long-ranged targets? Confused about how to choose the right long-range scope? Don’t know what distance even is considered a long-range? Bewildered about how to get your scope function optimally?
You have stumbled upon the right article to drain all your confusion away. From suggesting the five best long range scope for the money to every other question that might creep up, we got you covered.
Hopefully, by the end of this whole segment, you will be confident enough to venture into the wild with the right optic attached along with your rifle scoping with courage at the far distant target.
|Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO||Check Price|
|Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-12X42||Check Price|
|Athlon Optics Argos BTR 6-24×50||Check Price|
|Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm||Check Price|
|SWFA SS 10×42||Check Price|
Table of Contents
- 1 5 Best Long Range Scope for the Money
- 1.1 1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO
- 1.2 2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-12X42
- 1.3 3. Athlon Optics Argos BTR 6-24×50
- 1.4 4. Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm
- 1.5 5. SWFA SS 10×42
5 Best Long Range Scope for the Money
If you’re in a budget and you are just looking for the best bang for the buck, these are the scopes you want to look for when you are in the market. The description of the scopes, along with the pros and cons associated with individual ones, are described below in no particular order as you might prefer one over the other.
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50 AO
We often argue about which reticle is better among all the options that are available. While many prefer the Dead-Hold bullet Compensation reticle, some are just fond of the Mil Quad Floating reticle.
The Dead-Hold Bullet Compensation reticle is more preferred because it’s comparatively more beginner-friendly and is extremely versatile.
It is also fairly easier to estimate holdover through this reticle, and this scope by Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24×50, just like many others, offers this reticle but with a rear focal plane, which is more beginner-friendly.
As the scope is constructed in a single piece aluminum tube, it results in being very lightweight. Also, because it is a single-piece design, the hassle of transferring from one rifle to another is completely eliminated.
The turrets are capped, which gives them extra protection from dirt and debris. Reset turrets can be easily re-indexed without needing any additional tool. Adjustments are accurate and offer a satisfactory click with tactile feedback.
With the reticle being in the rear focal plane, it stays constant in size throughout all magnification settings, and as the lenses are multicoated, it ensures the best image. The eye relief is pretty generous too.
The scope is waterproof, dustproof, and fog proof with internal nitrogen gas purged. This purging of nitrogen gas lets the scope to operate in a wide range of temperatures without internal fogging.
- Good quality glass
- Fog proof
- Recoil and impact compensation
- Quick and hassle-free reticle focusing
- Clicky and accurately labeled turrets
- The crosshair gets hazy when magnified at 24x
- Mounting area is relatively short
2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-12X42
Don’t think Vortex Optics needs much further introduction anymore after the scope mentioned above. However, the Diamondback series is a little different because of its compatibility with not just hunting rifles but also a plethora of other guns such as a buck shotgun.
While choosing a scope in a budget, we often have to let go of higher quality glass lenses. But not in this case, this specific optic has a notable feature denoted as Extra-Low Dispersion (XD) glass, which is denser and a higher quality variety of glass.
The lenses are multicoated with proprietary XR fully multicoat, which results in minimal light reflection on both the external glasses.
The application of the secondary focal plane ensures the constant size of the bullet drop compensation reticle. This means the crosshair remains the same in any magnification adjustment.
Capping off the turrets eliminates the concern of dust and debris getting in. The turrets are clicky and offer tactile feedback. MOA clicks ensure quick reset of windage and elevation.
Side parallax knob provides the versatility of quick focus adjustment. Re-indexing on the go is also relatively easy.
The whole unit is shut tight with O-rings ensuring waterproofing and dust proofing. Purging of Argon gas in the internal means the scope is fog proof and is operational on most environmental temperatures.
- High-quality glass
- Ten percent more glass surface area than traditional 40mm lenses
- Compatible with standard height scope mounts on most rifles
- Fast focus eyepiece that allows hassle-free reticle focusing
- The option of V-plex or dead hold bullet drop compensation reticle
- Internal fog proof
- The eye relief can be a little tricky
- Exhibits fishbowl effect on anything over 9x magnification
3. Athlon Optics Argos BTR 6-24×50
Athlon is another scope manufacturer that is generally known for producing excellent optics at a competitive price point. Most of the scopes that are offered by Athlon is in the budget territory of the market. Among all those, this specific model gives the most bang for the buck, at least according to us.
If you are more comfortable with a first focal plane reticle over the second focal plane, you should put this scope into consideration. It will allow you to utilize the dynamic reticle fully.
The reticle changes its size with the change of magnification level. Illumination of the reticle offers excellent visibility in fairly dimmed environments.
Due to the fact that the reticle is etched in the glass, it ensures higher shock resistance to recoil. Multicoating of the lenses offers the withdrawal of external light reflections, also resulting in a brighter image.
Single piece construction of the scope offers the ease of transferring from one rifle to another on the go. The 6061T6 aircraft grade aluminum body frame means the scope is lightweight and is extremely sturdy.
Purging of Argon gas ensures internal fog proofing. The body is sealed tight with O-rings. Moisture-proof and the scope is also protected from dirt and environmental debris.
However, the turrets give the impression of low quality. It lacks the tactile feedback of every click. So, you need to be extra cautious when adjusting them on the go.
- Illuminated reticle
- One-piece construction provides the ease of attaching it to rifles on the go
- Ensured to withstand and eliminate the shock of 1000G recoil for 1000 times
- First focal plane
- Waterproof design
- Fogproof internals
- Turrets are a bit mushy
- Certain occurrences of point of impact shift when dialing through the magnification
4. Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm
The scope offers a fixed reticle size with the implementation of the rear focal plane. This means during magnification, the crosshair size will remain the same. The uniform size of the reticle favors beginners the most.
Nikon’s bullet drop compensation reticle offers the versatility of shooting targets at a wide array of ranges with better adjustability and clarity.
The scope features consistent eye relief. It allows the minimum distance between the shooter and the scope. Thus, it is eliminating the injuries regarding knockbacks.
Multiple layers of coating on the external lens to prevent sunlight and ambient environmental light reflections ensure higher clarity and visibility.
Purging of Nitrogen gas ensures fog-proof internals. Implementation of tight O-rings protects it from moisture and other dirt and debris.
However, the magnification knob is pretty stiff; it’s good and bad at the same time. Stiffness eliminates accidental turn on magnifications and improves accuracy, but on the other hand, it means more work is required to turn the knob.
Capping of turrets offers extra protection from dirt and debris. It also features quick zeroing. The clicks are tactile and are labeled accurately.
- Generous eye relief
- Fog proof
- Bullet drop reticle
- Compact and one-piece design
- Decent grade glass
- Quick zeroing with the turret with one forth clicks at 100 yards
- Requires much refined fine-tuning to obtain optimal accuracy
- Turrets are a little cheap in quality, which might strip off with abuse
5. SWFA SS 10×42
Last but not least, one from the SWFA Super Sniper series. If you are a fan of old school scope design, you will fall in love with this. Even though the design is a bit bland and basic, the functionality is up to par with other scopes in the price segment.
Like every other scope, it features a sturdy one-piece design body. The whole unit is waterproof and sealed tight with O-rings. Internal fog proofing is also implemented in this, just like every other scope in this price segment.
Constant ten power focal plane. This exhibits no focal variations, which leads to ease of use. The scope features a Mil-Quad reticle with a floating dot reminiscent of classic scopes. Lenses on both ends are multicoated, eliminates all external light reflections.
Furthermore, constant power focal length makes the scope suitable for beginners. However, if you are looking for something with variable focal power, you might have to put this out of your consideration.
Moreover, the turrets offer precise satisfactory clicks due to it being MOA. The standout factor of them is the zeroing being expeditious once you get along with them. They also output accurate results.
It comes with a left-sided parallax knob for focus adjustments. The focus adjustment is relatively easy because of the conveniently placed parallax knob.
- MOA tactile turrets that offer precise satisfactory clicks
- Easy focus adjustment
- Accurate zeroing turret
- Instantaneous reticle shift
- Fog proof
- Waterproof body
- Dustproof Internals.
- Glass clarity could be better
What to Look for in a Long Range Scope for the Money?
An excellent long-range scope is a necessity when it comes to shooting a far distant target. However, it doesn’t always have to stress your wallet out when you are out in the market, looking for a decent scope in that criteria. Nitpicking these factors can get you a great scope at a great deal.
When looking for a scope under a budget, look for ones that suit your preferred reticle as there is a wide variety of them. Select one that you are comfortable with and look for the manufacturers that are offering them.
Once you select your preferred reticle, factor in the turrets, most of the turrets that are found nowadays are more than adequate for precise tracking, but one might like the one that is stiffer – others might prefer the swift ones. Clicky turrets offer the best accuracy, so keep that in mind.
Optics and Miscellaneous
Glass clarity plays a significant role in the case of shooting targets off from a distance. Usually, it is widely believed that the more price you pay, the higher the quality of glass you get, but that’s not always true. Budget oriented scopes are also offering lenses that are comparable to high-end scopes.
Parallax focus knobs come in handy. The ones that offer good parallax turrets are the ones that make magnification on the go easy.
Most of the scopes are now coming with shockproof, waterproof, and internal fog proof features. So, you don’t have to worry much about these factors. Once you are aware of the factors mentioned above, you are good to go.
How Far Distance Is Considered As Long Range?
This is a highly ambiguous topic and is a normative fact. It varies from shooter to shooter. Usually, anything at 0-30 yards is considered as close range. 30-60 yards is regarded as medium ranged and anything farther than that is considered to be long-range.
But there might be some instances where some might consider distances that are farther than 100 yards as long-range and anything below that is medium to close range. It all boils down to personal opinions.
How to Adjust a Scope for Long-Range Shooting?
Fine-tuning a scope before heading out to the field is mandatory as most of the optics have variable range, zeroing factor, and focus.
However, in most cases, when the scope zeroing is set to infinity and is in focus, it remains reasonably accurate within 100 yards. But it is always wise to go through the manuals of the particular scope and acknowledge the zeroing beforehand because there might be instances where you might have to shoot a target that is far away than 100 yards from you.
Understanding all the functionalities of the scope is highly recommended before you decide to venture into the wild.
Types of Long Range Rifle Scope
When factoring in the types of long-range rifle scopes, there are plenty of them. Because most of them have a different design, built with different kinds of materials, and comes with various features.
The scopes can be usually differentiated with the reticle it comes with, the glass that is used for the optics, the first focal plane, and the second focal plane. Also, different manufacturers design their scopes differently.
However, if we are to classify them, it could be done in case of budgets: Low-Budget, medium budget, and high ends. But only the budgets don’t play a role in case of differentiating a proper scope with an unusable one; there are other factors as well.
How to Shoot in Long Range with a Scope?
With the scope attached to your rifle with the right amount, all you have to do is to find a target. However, just finding a target is not the end of the story here; once you have the target on your sight, factor in the distance and zero in the crosshair.
While adjusting the crosshair, don’t lose the focus because the focus is the main factor that can help you lay down a target that is not stationary. After all the elements checked out, you are all set to pull the trigger.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which mount should I get for my scope?
There is no such thing as a universal mount for scopes. As the scopes come with different body dimensions, they require distinct scope mount. Go through the manual that is included in the box because the appropriate mount is generally stated there.
2. Can I use a scope on my AR?
Most definitely. However, automated rifles have an aggressive recoil that requires close range sights rather than scopes, but if you are in single-shot mode, a scope can be made the best use of.
3. What should I look for when I am buying a scope for my rifle?
This question has been briefly described in the segment mentioned above. Going through that segment thoroughly will undoubtedly give you an idea of what look for when you are planning to buy a long-range scope.
4. Do expensive scopes offer more?
Usually, that’s not the case. Most of the budget-oriented scopes can offer an experience that is comparable to the high ends.
5. But what about warranties?
Most manufacturers provide excellent customer service. However, the warranty policy is something that should be justified by you.
To wrap it all up, we hope that after going through the whole article, you are now a little bit more assured in case of buying a brand-new scope for your rifle as you are more familiar with the best long range scope for the money. May luck be on your side, and we hope that all the shots you fire land on the target.