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Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1
The Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1 scope is the perfect combination of quality, performance, and price.
Best for Hunting
Burris XTR II 5-25×50
The Burris XTR II 5-25×50 scope will put you right on your animal, whether at 100 yards or 1,000 yards.
Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP
The Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP scope provides a great balance between performance and price.
Ten football fields in length is a long way to shoot. Sure, it can be—and is—done by shooters using iron sights on a variety of different types of rifles. Some people do it with new guns; others use century-old military surplus rifles. That is to say that the gun you use to shoot 1,000 yards doesn’t really matter. There are plenty that can do it. But shooters who are able to pull it off, are another thing entirely. Most people who shoot 1,000 yards or more do so with the help of a scope, and there’s no shame in obtaining some optical advantage. Deciding which scope is the right one for your quest to shoot 1,000 yards is a whole different matter. Here are some factors to consider as well as some recommendations for the best 1,000 yard scopes.
Best Overall: Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1Best for Competitive Shooting: Sightron SIII 10-50×60Best for Hunting: Burris XTR II 5-25×50Best Budget: Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFPBest Under $1,000: Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50
Things to Consider Before Buying a 1,000 Yard Scope
Sure, you could just go grab the first scope you see with the biggest magnification on the shelf and it would probably get the job done, but that’s a terrible way to pick out optics. If you decide that your next big gun-related purchase is going to be a scope that’s suitable for 1,000 yard shots, then here are some of the things you should think about before parting with your hard-earned money:
Are you going to be shooting out to 1,000 yards in a competition setting? Or maybe you’re just getting into long-range shooting for fun. Perhaps you’re anticipating a long shot on the hunt of a lifetime. All of these different purposes can lead to different scope selections. Make sure the scope you purchase is designed to excel at what you need it to do.
Scopes that are good out to distances of 1,000 yards or more tend to come with some extra bells and whistles. Few of them are actually necessary, but they’re all nice to have. The more features, the more the cost. Focus on exactly what you need in your scope before you pay for stuff you don’t really need.
Good glass isn’t cheap. That’s not to say that you can’t get a good 1,000 yard scope on a budget, but be mindful of how much you have to spend and how much you’re willing to spend. You could spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on a scope and find that it gets the same results as one that costs a fraction of that price. Don’t spend gobs of money just to spend it.
Best 1,000 Yard Scopes: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1
Why It Made the Cut: The Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1 scope is the perfect combination of quality, performance, and price.
Reticle: Choice of 6 different reticlesMagnification: 5-25xOther features: Zero stop technology
Built like an absolute tank to withstand any shooting conditionsFFP reticle remains in proportion whether at 5x or 25xZero Stop technology allows you to return to absolute zero just by feel, no matter where your zero is or how much adjustment you’ve made
56mm bell may be too large to fit on some setups
If you’re going to spend some serious cash on a 1,000 yard scope—the Nightforce ATACR is where the buck stops. Utilizing first focal plane technology, you get consistent reticle values regardless of the magnification setting. The scope is offered with your choice of six different reticles, including intelligent reticles. The eyepiece has an integrated Power Throw Lever and an XtremeSpeed thread for making a fast diopter adjustment. Extensive elevation travel (up to 120 MOA) allows target engagements at distances you would have previously considered “out of range.” If you’re willing to put in the practice with your rifle, this scope will show you just how good of a shooter you can be. Simply put, if you fail to deliver at 1,000 yards with this Nightforce on your rifle, then the problem is you.
Best for Competitive Shooting: Sightron SIII 10-50×60
Why It Made the Cut: When you need absolute precision because your score depends on it, the Sightron SIII 10-50×60 can’t be beaten.
Magnification: 10-50xDurability: Fogproof, waterproof, and shockproofOther features: Lifetime warranty and ExacTrek precision adjustment
10x is the minimum power you want at 1,000 yards, and this scope starts thereEtched glass reticle for precise viewingTurret knobs can be reset to zero
60mm bell may be too large for some rifle setups
Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is measured in fractions of an inch. When you need that kind of exacting precision, you want the best scope money can buy. The Sightron SIII 10-50×60 scope uses the company’s patented ExacTrack technology to deliver precise windage and elevation adjustments while maintaining a positive point of contact with the erector tube. From zero to the most extreme adjustments, you will never experience drift again. The multi-coated optical grade glass lenses are precisely aligned to ensure maximum light transmission, color accuracy, and clarity. The large tactical knobs provide tactile and audible clicks with 1/4 MOA adjustments. The knobs are resettable to zero and are designed for extreme weather conditions.
Best for Hunting: Burris XTR II 5-25×50
Why It Made the Cut: The Burris XTR II 5-25×50 scope will put you right on your animal, whether at 100 yards or 1,000 yards.
Reticle: four options and two colorsMagnification: 5-25XOther features: covered by the Burris Forever Warranty
Can take most calibers out past 1,000 yards in a single turnFFP reticle remains in proportion whether at 5x or 25xAvailable with an optional illuminated reticle
Be mindful when selecting rings, as this scope is 34mm, not the more common 30mm or 1”
Don’t let distance get between you and the hunt of a lifetime. The Burris XTR II 5-25×50 scope is designed to get you right on your animal, whether it’s at 100 yards or 1,000 yards. Moreover, the index-matched Hi-Lume multicoating on the glass aids in low-light performance and glare elimination, increasing your success rate no matter the time of day. You can also get this scope with an illuminated reticle for an extra leg up in visibility. The Zero Click Stop adjustment knobs let you quickly and easily revert to the original yardage setting without counting clicks, making adjustments effortless.
Best Budget: Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP
Why It Made the Cut: The Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP scope provides a great balance between performance and price.
Reticle: MOA or MRAD reticlesMagnification: 5-25x Other features: waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof
Available with MOA or MRAD reticles depending on shooter preferenceFFP reticle remains in proportion whether at 5x or 25xBacked by Vortex’s industry-leading warranty
Heavy, weighing just shy of 2 pounds
If you’re ready to step it up and spend more than $1,000 on a scope built for 1,000 yard shooting, then this scope is a solid option that has found the right balance between performance and price. The Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP scope features a glass-etched reticle in MOA or MRAD that offers shooters highly functional, intuitive, and detailed hold points, yet remains uncluttered for optimal viewing. Proprietary coatings on the extra-low dispersion glass guarantee a bright and crisp image even at maximum magnification and in low light. The RSR Zero Stop in the turrets prevents them from dialing below sight-in range using rugged steel components. Even when setting the zero-stop position, the internal mechanisms stay free of sand, dirt, dust, moisture, and other foreign materials.
Best Under $1,000: Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50
Why It Made the Cut: The Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 delivers top-notch performance at a price well under $1,000.
Reticle: Illuminated, glass-etched reticleMagnification: 4-24xOther features: Fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof
The EBR-4 MOA reticle makes it easy to determine ranges, holdovers, windage corrections, and moving target leadsBacked by Vortex’s industry-leading warranty4-24 range ideal for close and far shots
The EBR-4 MOA reticle may come across as “too busy” for some shooters
If you’re not ready to spend four figures on a scope just yet, then the Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 might be exactly what you’re looking for. Ideal for short-range shots at 4x and long-range shots up to 24x, this Vortex scope will deliver accurate, reliable, and repeatable performance every time you squeeze the trigger. It’s a perfect option for people who are just getting into 1,000 yard shooting or want to have a second rig in case you need a backup or you’ve got a new friend who wants to try long-distance shooting. Priced around $700, you’ll still have money left over for ammo before hitting that thousand-dollar-mark.
I’m fortunate enough to shoot out to 400 yards at home, so I know the importance of good glass and magnification. While I can’t get out to 1,000 yards without putting in the effort to go find a place to shoot, I’ve found that the same scopes I’m using at 400 yards are also well suited to 1,000 yards. This is because I tend to overbuy my scopes in terms of distance. They perform great at 400, and at 1,000 when I have the opportunity to shoot at that distance. So how have I narrowed it down to which ones will work at this range? When it comes to picking the right 1,000 yard scope, I evaluate products using the following criteria:
Image Quality: How good is the glass in this scope? How is the glass treated, sealed, etc? Does it provide a nice, clear picture through the entire range of magnification, or do things get a little fuzzy at the higher end? What kind of eye relief does it have, and how big of a field of view is there when zoomed all the way in?Going the Distance: What’s the maximum magnification on the scope? After all, this is about reaching out to 1,000 yards or more.Cost: Is this scope a good value? If it’s inexpensive, is it worth the money or should you save up for a higher-end model? If it is quite pricey, does the overall quality of the scope and the features it offers justify the high price?
Q: How much scope magnification do I need for 1,000 yards?
You should have at least 10x magnification if you’re shooting at 1,000 yards. A 10x scope will make the 1,000 yard target appear to be 100 yards away. Of course, more is better here to a certain extent. A 20x scope will make the 1,000 yard target appear to be just 50 yards away. Going beyond 20x isn’t really necessary, with most people’s 1,000 yard scopes topping out around the 25x mark. Of course, some scopes go up to 50x, and that gives one hell of a sight picture at 1,000 yards.
Q: How much does a 1,000 yard scope cost?
A 1,000 yard scope can vary in price from as little as $500 to as much as $5,000. The more expensive option will certainly be a better, higher-quality glass than the cheaper option, but it doesn’t mean that you have to spend $5,000 to hit targets at 1,000 yards. The $500 scope will do it, too; it just won’t have as many of the features or performance precision that you’d expect from the more expensive scope.
Q: How far is a 10 power scope good for?
A 10 power scope is good for 1,000 yards at a minimum. This is because a 10 power scope will make a 1,000 yard distance look like the target is 100 yards away. Seeing your target at a distance of 100 yards makes it much easier to shoot and hit the target properly.
Final Thoughts on the Best 1,000 Yard Scopes
Most people won’t ever shoot out to 1,000 yards. Heck, most people probably won’t go beyond 500. Still, it’s nice to know that you have the option to reach out to more than half a mile should the need arise. Thankfully, the majority of scopes on this list have a tremendous range of magnification, making them ideal for typical recreation, competition, and hunting distances while still being able to stretch their legs when you get a wild hair to do so.
So, do you need a scope capable of 1,000 yards? Probably not. Then again, need rarely factors into the equation for most people when it comes to gun-related purchases. So go ahead and buy the best 1,000-yard scope you can get.