If you’ve ever dreamed of making 1000-yard shots with confidence and precision, one of the best things you can do is invest in a quality long-range optic. However, finding the best sniper scope is no easy task. Not every scope is cut out for making extreme distance shots.
If you aren’t sure what to look for in a long-range riflescope, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best sniper scopes on the market today. Whether you’re using your sniper rifle for hunting, competition, or tactical applications, any of these top-quality optics will serve you well.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time for the details, here are our best picks for sniper scopes:
- Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
- Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-45×56
- Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50
- Leupold FX-3 6x42mm Fixed Power Riflescope
Table of Contents
- How to Choose the Best Sniper Scope for Long-Range Shooting
- Best Sniper Scope on the Market Reviews
- Final Thoughts
How to Choose the Best Sniper Scope for Long-Range Shooting
It doesn’t matter what type of targets you need to line up in your sights – trophy big game, steel, paper bullseyes, or dangerous threats – there are a few key features you need from any long-range optic.
Since you can’t hit what you can’t see, optical quality is extremely important in a long-range scope. Look for ED or XD glass for best results.
Coatings also help keep your sight picture clear and distortion-free. They also will reduce glare and maximize light transmission. This will help provide a brighter image for better low-light shooting. Look for a scope with fully multi-coated lenses.
A side focus knob or an AO (adjustable objective) is crucial to fighting this problematic optical effect.
Long-range shooting requires serious magnification. Most snipers prefer a variable power optic with a magnification range of at least 4-25x.
Long-range shooters must often make adjustments for windage and elevation. Look for a scope that features fingertip adjustable turrets with clicks you can feel and hear. A model with a visible rotation indicator will also help you keep track of your adjustments.
Return to Zero
A return to zero function is a handy feature that will help you return to your original zero quickly and easily, no matter how many adjustments you’ve made.
Most long-range scopes feature MOA or Mil-Dot reticles to help shooters make on-the-fly holdovers without having to use turret adjustments. Many long-range reticles are highly detailed, which can feel cluttered and complicated to inexperienced shooters. Choose a reticle design that you know how to use (or are willing to learn how to use).
Eye relief is the distance your eye needs to be from the scope’s rear lens to see your target clearly and effectively. Snipers often use hard-hitting cartridges that can produce some serious recoil. If you’re shooting a heavy hitter like .300 Win Mag or .338 Lapua, you’ll want a scope with plenty of eye relief to protect your eye from the scope during recoil.
A Note About Cost
Sniper-level accuracy doesn’t come cheap. Serious shooting requires a serious riflescope, and serious riflescopes can cost serious money. Few quality long-range scopes can be bought for under $1000, and the best have even higher price tags. If you want a quality scope you can count on, be prepared to make a significant monetary investment.
Best Sniper Scope on the Market Reviews
1 Zeiss Conquest V6 5-30×50
The Zeiss Conquest V6 is made with state-of-the-art SCHOTT fluoride lenses. These lenses are some of the best in the industry. Not only do SCHOTT fluoride lenses provide excellent image quality, but they also keep the weight of the optic manageable.
Zeiss covers all air-to-glass surfaces are covered in T-star six-layer multi-coatings. Designed to provide up to 92 percent light transmission, these coatings help provide crisp, razor-sharp images with brilliant color clarity.
In addition, the Conquest V6 also has lenses treated with a LotuTec. LotuTec is a hydrophobic coating that protects the lenses from water, dirt, and fingerprints, ensuring a clear sight picture even in wet weather.
The Conquest V6’s ballistic turrets provide audible, tactile adjustments for precise windage and elevation adjustments.
Long-range shooters will also appreciate the fine illuminated dot reticle. The lines are a fraction of the width of a human hair. This design allows for incredible precision and also keeps the sight picture uncluttered.
Is It Worth It?
The Zeiss Conquest V6 riflescope is perfect for engaging targets out to 1000 yards. Its precision reticle and crystal clear sight picture also make it well-suited for varmint hunting.
Here are the features that set this scope apart from the competition.
- SCHOTT fluoride lenses.
- T-star multi-coatings.
- LotuTec hydrophobic coatings.
- Razor-sharp image clarity.
- Quality ballistic turrets.
- Ultra-fine illuminated dot reticle.
- Wide field of view.
The Conquest V6 is a high-end scope that comes with an expensive price tag. However, even though the price is just under $2000, it actually performs like a much more expensive model.
Mounting and Accessories
Varmint hunters will want to add the Zeiss Conquest 3-Inch Thread-On Sunshade to their shopping cart. This accessory is perfect for shooting small targets in bright sunshine.
2 Schmidt & Bender PM II 5-45×56
Schmidt & Bender makes high-end optics to exacting standards. The company has one of the strictest quality management systems on the face of the planet, which ensures their long-range scopes deliver a level of precision unmatched in the industry.
Schmidt & Bender’s PM line of scopes is designed specifically for long-range tactical shooting. “PM” actually stands for “Police Marksman,” and these scopes are a popular choice for military, SWAT, and law enforcement snipers.
The PM II features low-profile Double Turn turrets that provide crisp, tactile adjustments. The design is probably the best in the industry. These turrets also have a visual rotation indicator that changes color after one full rotation. This feature allows you to easily keep track of your adjustments, no matter how many you dial in.
Featuring parallax compensation with an engraved meter index, the PM II lets shooters easily adjust for parallax from 10 meters to infinity.
One unique feature is the PM II’s Sub Zero Stop feature that allows you to adjust below your established zero.
Like all Schmidt & Bender riflescopes, the PM II has some of the best optical clarity in the world. The sight picture is crisp, clear, and bright, even in low light.
Is It Worth It?
Although engineered with the sniper in mind, the PM II also holds its own on the competition field. This is a high-end scope for serious shooters, and its price tag is far from cheap. However, this is one of the best long-range optics in the world, and it pairs well with everything from 6.5 Creedmoor to .338 Lapua.
Here are just a few of the high-quality features the PM II riflescope offers modern shooters.
- Excellent light transmission.
- Crips, clear image quality.
- Double Turn Turrets are the best in the industry.
- Visible rotation indicator.
- Precise parallax compensation.
- Sub Zero Stop function.
Mounting and Accessories
A heavy-duty scope like the Schmidt & Bender PM II requires quality mounts and sturdy rings. The Spuhr ISMS 34mm Riflescope Mount pairs well with this high-end optic.
3 Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50
The Vortex Viper PST is proof you can find a quality long-range scope for under $1000. This is a premium quality optic that performs well beyond its price point. This one provides plenty of value for the money.
The Viper PST is built for rugged conditions. It features a hard-anodized finish, Armortek lens coatings, and a no-glare finish that is perfect for tactical applications. The scope also features laser-etched target turrets with a built-in fiber optic rotation indicator. This allows you to easily keep track of your adjustments in the field. It also comes with a handy RZR zero reset feature and an easy-to-use parallax adjustment.
In addition to these tactical features, the Vortex Viper PST has top-of-the-line image quality. Made with ED (extra-low dispersion) glass and fully multi-coated lenses, this optic delivers some of the brightest, clearest images you’ll ever see through an optic.
Is It Worth It?
Although the Vortex Viper PST isn’t exactly a budget scope, it performs like a high-end model with a mid-range price tag. This versatile scope pairs as well with an AR-15 as it does a bolt action Remington 700.
Here are a few of the Vortex Viper PST’s best features.
- Bright, crisp image quality.
- Armortek scratch-resistant lens coatings.
- Hard-anodized, no glare exterior finish.
- RZR zero-reset.
- Adjustable parallax.
- Laser-etched turrets with fiber-optic rotation indicator.
- Glass-etched illuminated BDC reticle.
Mounts and Accessories
It’s just smart to use Vortex mounts with a Vortex riflescope. We recommend using Vortex Precision Matched Riflescope Rings.
For extra protection from dirt and debris, you may want to add the Vortex Defender Flip Cap Objective Lens Cover and the Vortex Defender Flip Cap Eyepiece Lens Cover.
4 Leupold FX-3 6x42mm Fixed Power Riflescope
Not every sniper needs (or wants) a variable power optic. Using a fixed power scope, like the FX-3 from Leupold, can simplify long-range shooting. It also has a lightweight design that won’t weigh down your rifle.
The FX-3 provides excellent optical quality partially due to Leupold’s exclusive Twilight Light Management System. This system uses top-quality glass and proprietary lens coatings to deliver a bright, glare-free sight picture in any lighting condition. Perfect for low-light shooting, the Twilight Light Management System helps maximize light transmission to extend available shooting light at dawn and dusk.
The FX-3 is a super sturdy scope that easily handles rough use and harsh conditions. It is made with durable aircraft-grade aluminum and is machined and assembled in the USA.
Is It Worth It?
Although a fixed power optic may not be immediately what comes to mind when you think of a sniper scope, the Leupold FX-3 performs surprisingly well in this capacity. This is a great entry-level long-range scope that comes in just under $500.
Here are a few of the things that make this scope perfect for long-range sniping.
- Twilight Light Management System.
- Excellent optical clarity.
- Simple fixed power magnification.
- Lightweight design.
- Sturdy design.
- Waterproof, shockproof, and fogproof.
- Made in America.
Mounting and Accessories
If you plan to shoot in bright sunlight, you could benefit from using the Leupold Mark 4 Tenebraex Anti-Reflection Honeycomb Filter.
Whether you plan to snipe varmints, big game, steel, or paper targets, a quality long-range optic is the best way to swing the odds of accuracy in your favor. However, even the best sniper scope will only get you so far. Precision shooting is best achieved through practice, no matter what optic you have mounted on your rifle. Make sure to spend plenty of time practicing your shooting fundamentals to really improve your long-range shooting prowess.