The 3 Best 1000 Yard Scope [2020 Update]

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Today I’m going to show you the best 1000 yard scope.

In fact:

I’ve hand- tested over 10 scopes alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted the scopes by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need the best scope for 1000 yard shooting, you’ll find it here.

Let’s dive in!

The 3 Best 1000 Yard Scope

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best scopes for 1000 yards:

  1. NightForce SHV 5-20×56: Best 1000 Yard Scope
  2. Vortex Viper PST Gen 1 6-24×50: Best for the Budget
  3. Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50: Best 1000 Yard Scope Under $500

1. NightForce SHV 5-20×56: Best 1000 Yard Scope

Finding a scope that will let you see clearly enough to make accurate shots at 1000 yards is challenging, but fortunately, the NightForce SHV 5-20×56 has you covered.

In fact, it has quickly become my top pick for all long range hunting and shooting.

I’ve even used it in a few long range competitions.

Want to know why?

Keep reading…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass on the SHV is the same exceptional quality and clarity as the NXS at a much lower price.

Not only that, the glass is crystal clear from edge to edge. The 56mm objective lens vastly increases the amount of light transmission, so you get better visibility in lower light too.

The MOAR reticle does take a little while to get used to, but once you do it’s spectacular.

It has elevation and windage markings at 1 MOA that really help you with range finding. They also make hold-offs on smaller targets possible at that long, 1000 yard range.

The reticle is also second focal plane, so it doesn’t change size with the magnification.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

The NightForce SHV has pretty decent eye relief at 3.5 inches at all powers.

I was able to comfortably move my head around and adjust as needed without any problem.

It has a nice, wide field of view, making it easy to spot my target.


Durability

NightForce is a brand that you can trust to make durable, reliable products and the SHV is no exception.

It’s waterproof and fogproof and made to perform flawlessly, even with the bigger caliber rifles.

The one downside to this durability is that it’s a pretty heavy scope, but at least you know that you’re getting something out of that extra weight.

You’ll also get a limited lifetime warranty from NightForce, so they’ll help you resolve any issues you may have.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage turrets are ¼ MOA adjustments that go to 80 MOA and 50 MOA respectively.

I’ve experienced some mushy feeling turrets in my time, but the NightForce SHV has good, positive clicks that you can feel easily.

They’re also amazingly precise and accurate!

Zeroing this scope took me about 3 shots and it’s held nicely so far.

It has a ZeroSet feature as well, that allows you to quickly return to your zero if you’ve made any adjustments.


Parallax & Magnification

You get a variable magnification of 5-20x, which makes those long range shots a breeze.

I’ve used this scope to hunt at 300-1000 yards on my 6.5 Creedmoor and I think it’s the best scope for a 308 as well.

While it’s great for hunting deer and varmints at that range, I don’t love it for anything closer than that. For hunting smaller targets at close range, check out the best scopes for .22-250.

Another great feature on the NightForce SHV is the parallax adjustment, which is quick and easy to use. I love that I can clear any distortion, so I know that I’m getting an accurate sight picture.


Mounting & Rings

The downside to this exceptional optic is that it doesn’t come with any mount or rings.

I need the NightForce High 30mm rings to get it mounted correctly on my rifle.

Nightforce Optics 1.125" High Ultra Light Titanium Alloy Ring Set for 30mm Scopes
  • Nightforce Optics 1.125" High Ultra Light Titanium Alloy Ring Set for 30mm Scopes

I also bought a NightForce Flip-Up Lens Cap for some added lens protection.


Is the NightForce SHV 5-20×56 worth it?

The NightForce SHV will give you the most accurate sight picture that you could hope for at 1000 yards.

It has:

  • Crystal clear glass
  • SFP, MOAR reticle
  • Tough, waterproof, fogproof
  • Variable magnification of 5-20x
  • Very crisp, positive click turrets

If you’re looking for the best scope for 1000 yards, give the NightForce SHV 5-20×56 a try. You won’t be disappointed.

NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope,30mm,.250 MOA,MOAR Non-Illuminated Reticle
35 Reviews
NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope,30mm,.250 MOA,MOAR Non-Illuminated Reticle
  • 56mm Objective lens for maximum light transmission
  • Second focal plane: reticle remaind the same size no matter the magnification
  • Tactical MOA turrets for easy adjustments

2. Vortex Viper PST Gen 1 6-24×50: Best for the Budget

Looking for a high-quality 1000 yard scope, but on a budget? Boy, do I have the scope for you!

Let me tell you about the Vortex Viper PST Gen I 6-24×50…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

Vortex made this scope with extra-low dispersion glass, which gives me an extra clear view. I liked how the fully multi-coated lenses cut down on glare and reflection.

I had a crisp view through almost the entire magnification range of the scope. Colors popped–even at low-light. I have been very pleased with the clarity and quality of the glass.

The first focal plane reticle is etched right into the glass, giving me a very accurate sight picture. The Viper VST has an illuminated Enhanced Battle Reticle (EBR-1). I found it was easy to quickly acquire my target in any lighting.

The red reticle has adjustable illumination. The lower powers being best suited for night vision, and the upper ends being best for bright daylight. The middle selections are perfect for low light.

I liked that the reticle turned off between “clicks” through range of the illumination. I didn’t have to twist through the entire gradient to turn it off.

The reticle is battery powered, so be sure to keep an extra on hand.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

I loved that the Viper PST has a generous eye relief. At 4 inches, I was not at all worried about getting hit by the scope on my heaviest hitting rifles.

This is a great feature for higher calibers and long distance shooting.

That said, it was a little too much space for shooting at the lower ends of the scope’s range. There are better options for low to mid distanced optics.

I don’t recommend getting this scope for anyone who is primarily using the lower powers. The extended eye relief made the parallax hard to manage.


Durability

Vortex built this scope to withstand the normal knocks and bumps. I have tossed my rifle into the back of my truck and the scope has bumped around while I drove down dirt roads. It held zero just fine.

Being Argon purged, the Viper PST is fogproof. The addition of O-rings also made the scope very waterproof. I dunked mine in a stream during a hunt just to test, and it worked perfectly.

I don’t think this scope needs to be treated gently, but I don’t feel like it is the most robust scope on the market. I feel it’s average, and considering how competitive the market is at this price range, it will perform well overall.

I have heard complaints of the reticle shifting off center, but Vortex was quick to replace the defective scopes.

If I did manage to mangle my scope, Vortex is very good at repairing or replacing broken or defective scopes. My buddy had the reticle issue I mentioned above and Vortex sent him a new scope within a week of receiving his defective one.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

The tactical turrets on the Viper PST are a little stiff to turn. I liked this because it prevented me from making unintentional adjustments.

I noticed that there was a very tangible “click” when turning the turrets. I could easily count my clicks when finding zero.

The clicks were clean, no mushiness, and no mistaking my adjustments.

I was able to find zero after firing 3 rounds.

My favorite feature was the Zero Stops. Once I have found zero for my rifle, I can set the turrets so that they don’t turn past zero.

Out in the field, I could make the adjustments I needed for my shot, then easily return to zero without looking. The turrets will stop turning when I have reached it.


Parallax & Magnification

The magnification on the Viper PST that I tested was 6-24x. I thought this was a little much for forest hunting, but perfect for long range shooting.

If you are a mountain hunter and want to bag big game from the next ridge over, this would be a great option for you.

I found that I could hit six inch steel targets at 1000 yards. I loved how accurate and clear this scope is.

I had a pretty good view through the lower and middle ranges of power on the VIper PST.

However, I found that my sight picture was really hazy at 24x. I was frustrated that the quality would drop off at the highest powers. I wanted this scope specifically for the higher range, so this was a big disappointment.

Is it enough to be a deal breaker? It depends on just how long I want my long range shots to be. If my picture was clearer at 24x I could push for accurate shots over 1200 yards.

For some, landing on the paper at 1000 yards is acceptable. And that is definitely doable with this scope.

There is a side adjustment on the scope to kill the parallax starting at 50 yards through the entire magnification range of the scope.

I felt the side adjustment was easy to reach from any shooting position and it was effective at stopping parallax.


Mounting & Rings

This vortex scope has a 30mm tube. Because of the large objective lens, I found I needed medium rings so that my bell cleared the barrel on my rifle.

I liked these rings by Vortex. They can be mounted to either picatinny or weaver bases.


Is the Vortex Viper PST Gen I 6-24×50 worth it?

As a long distance shooter, I think this scope delivered the most bang for my buck.

It has:

  • XD Glass
  • Illuminated EBR-1 Reticle
  • ArmorTek coating for durability
  • Zero Stop customizable turrets

The Vortex Viper PST is definitely the best 1000 yard scope on a budget.


3. Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50: Best 1000 Yard Scope Under $500

The Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is one of the best ways to get introduced to long range shooting.

With an unbeatable price tag and quality that outperforms anything in its class, this scope is an absolute no brainer.

Here’s why the Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is one of my all time favorite purchases…


Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass clarity on the Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is unbeatable at this price point. The scope has glass comparable to scopes roughly triple the price.

The scope is very bright and I have had no issues in low light conditions.

I will admit I am not the most refined shooter. However, between the combination of clarity and magnification, I have shot some decent groupings at 1000 yards.

The MOAA reticle on the Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is not the most traditional.

It’s a little busy, but I have found this to be very helpful as you increase the distance.

In addition, the illumination on the reticle is very impressive. I have found it to be comparable to some of my aimpoint scopes that far outprice the Strike Eagle.

I keep the scope mounted on my .308 blackout AR and it has been a fantastic addition to one of my favorite firearms.


Eye Relief & Eye Box

At about 4 inches, the eye relief has been very comfortable for my .308 setup.

I have the scope mounted a bit forward because it better suits my shooting style, but there is plenty of room on my rail.

The Strike Eagle 4-24×50 also has a fast focus dial on the eyepiece, which has made my shooting experience much more enjoyable.

Putting this scope up to my eye is satisfactory every time.


Durability

The Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is nitrogen purged and has a high quality o-ring seal for both water and fog protection.

It is made out of aircraft grade aluminum and the quality can be felt the first time you pick the scope up.

The scope is also shockproof, which is evident because it has handled all of my mistreatment out on the range.

At this price range I was expecting the scope to feel slightly chincy, but this is not the case at all. The Strike Eagle 4-24×50 will take a beating and keep on chugging along.

This scope gives me great confidence and I trust that it will work flawlessly every time.


Elevation & Windage Knobs

These turrets have been nothing but a treat to use. They are exactly what I am looking for in a high quality turret.

A defined motion and audible click are must haves in my book and the Strike Eagle 4-24×50 does a great job at accomplishing this.

The turrets are well knurled, which is helpful when trying to zero.

My experience zeroing the scope was very positive. It adjusted fluidly and finding a zero was surprisingly easy.

I’ve had issues with zeroing scopes in this price range before and I am happy this one didn’t fall into that category.

The scope has taken a hard beating and has yet to lose a zero which is very impressive.


Parallax & Magnification

The magnification on the Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is 4X to 24X, which is one of the wider magnification spreads I have used.

I am really enjoying the versatility of the scope. I am not always a long distance shooter with my .308, so having the ability to go from 1000 yards all the way down to 20 yards is perfect for my usage.

The Strike Eagle 4-24×50 has a fantastic parallax adjustment which has made the magnification versatility even better.


Mounting & Rings

The Strike Eagle 4-24×50 does not come with any mounting equipment, so I got a 1 inch diameter Monstrum Offset Ring Scope Mount.

Monstrum Offset Cantilever Dual Ring Scope Mount | 1 inch Diameter
  • Dual ring scope mount for mounting standard 1 inch tube rifle scopes
  • Mounts to any flat top Picatinny rail equipped rifle
  • 2 inches of forward extension allows extra flexibility for optimum eye relief and shooting position

The offset gives me some extra versatility and wiggle room on my AR’srail.

I often order throw levers with my scope purchases; however, the Strike Eagle comes stock with one which is a great feature.


Is the Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 worth it?

The Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is one of the best purchases I have made for my .308 AR build. The fit, finish, and execution of the scope is top notch.

Here’s why:

  • Clarity
  • Durability
  • Lifetime Warrant
  • Parallax Adjustment

In short: the Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is everything you want in a scope for a fraction of the price. It truly is the best scope for 1000 yard shooting.

Immediately after mounting it on my AR, I knew I wasn’t going to take the scope off. I find it hard to believe I will ever find a scope in this price range that could beat out the Strike Eagle 4-24×50.

If you’re still unsure as to whether the Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is right for you, I would give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best 1000 yard scope guide.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which 1000 yard scope will you pick for your rifle?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

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