The 4 Best 1000 Yard Scope [2021 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!

How much Scope Magnification Needed for 1000 yards?

It’s pretty rare that I go target shooting, let alone hunting at extreme distances. You need completely different equipment than for the standard deer, hog, and coyote hunting.

If you’re hunting at 1,000 yards, then you’re probably going after big game or you’re skeet shooting.

Either way, you’re gonna want a different scope than you would use for varmint hunting.

When you are focusing on a target that far away, you have to make sure your scope isn’t gonna tunnel when you look through it at higher magnifications.

Keep reading and I’ll tell you exactly what you need in your scope, and I’ll recommend a few of my favorites.

Can I Have Too Much Mag?

Absolutely. Too much magnification is just as bad and causes just as many problems as too little.

Anything above 24x is going to make your FOV so narrow it’ll be hard to see your target in the scope.

If a scope’s magnification is so high that I feel like I’m squinting at my target, then I might as well not be using a scope.

What’s the Minimum Mag I Need?

If you’re looking to save some money, and don’t plan on shooting at 1,000yds often, then a fixed 10x scope will do.

That’ll work well for target shooting, especially if the target you’re aiming for is fairly large. I was able to reliably hit a 10” steel plate at that distance at 10x mag.

If you’re looking to hunt moving targets, such as animals concealed in brush, then you’re gonna want something a little more diverse and powerful.

Generally for big game I would recommend 1x per 100 yards as a bare minimum. Personally, I really like a 4-16x for the extra detail they provide on long shots.

Another thing you need to look at is the objective lens. You need at least 50mm at this range.

Heavy Duty vs Lightweight

One of the main things you need to decide is how much weight you’re willing to deal with for the extra magnification.

Once you start getting over 16x mag, you’re gonna see the weight of your scopes start to go up. If that’s a concern you’re going to want to keep it around 10-14x.

If weight isn’t a concern for you, then skip this section. Otherwise, I recommend the Leupold 2-12x VX-6. It’s crystal clear glass and high quality components make up for it capping out at 12x mag.

It only weighs 19oz, so anyone can use this without worrying the weight will cause fatigue.

What About a Fixed 16x?

This probably sounds like a great option right? Wrong.

I’m not a fan of fixed scopes at all because you can’t adjust for the unexpected. All you have to work with is whatever magnification your scope is set at.

A big issue I’ve run into at 16x mag, especially in the desert, is mirages. At 16x, they’re often extremely visible, even when it’s not crazy hot.

This means if all you’ve got is the 16x, you’re gonna be screwed. If you can drop it down to even a 14x, your image is going to be so much clearer and that mirage is gonna disappear.

“But I don’t hunt in a desert!” I know. But it doesn’t have to be super hot to cause a mirage. Trust me on this one, choose a variable scope over a fixed one.


This is one of the few times I’m gonna recommend an FFP scope over a SFP. Why? FFP scopes’ reticles enlarge as you increase magnification.

This makes it a lot easier to hit targets at long ranges, and is especially useful for open fields.

With SFP, you’re going to run into that squinting issue I talked about earlier. For me, the FFP reticle will completely cover a target and I’ll know I’m gonna make the shot.

So What Scope Do I Recommend?

So remember, you’re looking for some specific things here:

  • FFP vs SFP
  • At least 10x mag
  • No higher than 24x
  • Variable vs fixed scope

This post lists some of the best long range scopes that I recommend here.

But since you’re already here, let’s take a look at some of the best 1000 yard scopes on the market today…

The 4 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
  4. Sightron SIII SS 10-50×60: Best for Bench Rest

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.


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 X-Treme Duty Ultralite Aluminum 30mm 4 Screw Ring Set - 1.125" High (A107)
  • NIGHTFORCE X-TREME DUTY ULTRALITE RINGS - Nightforce X-Treme duty ultralite rings are available in both four-screw and six-screw versions
  • MATERIALS - Rings sets are crafted of machined 7075-T6 hard anodized aluminum, with titanium crossbolts and jaws, they give you the performance of steel at half the weight
  • CONSTRUCTION - The unique construction of the rings provides strength well beyond that normally found in lightweight rings

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

Nightforce Optics 56mm Objective Flip-Up Lens Cap for ATACR/Beast/NXS/SHV Hunting Scopes (A468)
  • ATACR/BEAST/NXS SCOPES COMPATIBLE - Keep the objective of your Nightforce 56mm ATACR, Beast, and NXS clear with these objective flip-up lens caps, without interfering with quick shots
  • EXTREME FUNCTIONALITY - The new lens caps, manufactured to Nightforce specifications by Tenebraex, provide both superb protection and extreme functionality in the field
  • EASY USE - The caps can be rotated to provide the opening angle preferred by the shooter; both caps flip up with finger pressure

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 Zeroset .250 MOA, Matte Black
  • NIGHTFORCE SHV 5-20x56 - The most powerful of our SHV series performs beautifully at both close and extended ranges on varmints, big game, and for making tight groups on paper
  • SPECS - It features a full 80 MOA of elevation adjustment, side parallax adjustment and ZeroSet technology which allows a quick return to your initial zero setting, regardless of how many elevation...
  • WHAT'S IN THE BOX - Rubber Lens Covers, Cleaning Fob/ Cleaning Cloth, Owners Manual, Other Tools (Loose Allen Keys, etc)

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.


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.


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.

4. Sightron SIII SS 10-50×60: Best for Bench Rest

It can be difficult to find a variable magnification scope that is appropriate for bench rest, but the Sightron SIII SS is perfect.

I’ve used it for several long range competitions and it performs just as well as the NightForce at a considerably lower price.

What makes the Sightron SIII SS so great?

Keep reading to find out…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

This scope has clear glass from edge to edge.

It has fully multi-coated lenses, so you’re getting the best option possible. The coating cuts back on glare and distortion to give you optimum clarity.

What about the reticle?

It’s a ⅛ MOA dot reticle, which means you get crosshairs and a dot that gives you a precise and accurate sight picture.

The reticle is second focal plane, so it won’t change sizes with the magnification.

The one downside to this reticle is it’s not illuminated, so it’s not as good as the NightForce in low light conditions, but otherwise it’s very comparable. And it’s around $800 less!

Another great thing about this scope is that it has a fast focus eyebell. With a quick turn of the eyebell, you can have your target in focus in seconds.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is pretty significant at 3.8-4.5 inches.

I found this to be more than enough for bench rest shooting and it’s significantly more than most of the competing scopes.

You also get a great field of view from the eyebox, making long range shooting easy as can be.


The Sightron SIII SS is made of aircraft quality aluminum and is extremely durable.

Not only that, but the 30mm tube is substantially sturdier than the 1” tube scopes out there.

It is nitrogen filled, which prevents the optic from fogging up. Plus it is waterproof and shockproof.

I’ve used this in a few competitions now and never had a problem with it.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The elevation and windage turrets are ⅛ MOA adjustments.

It has large, oversized target knobs that are easy to grip and produce nice, solid clicks. They also have large characters that are easy to see.

Sightron has its own Exac Track design for their turrets that’s extremely accurate and precise.

On top of that, they’re resettable to zero too!

And what about zeroing?

Between the quick focus and the dot reticle, getting this scope zeroed in was a breeze. It took only a handful of shots.

I’ve easily shot over 4000 rounds with this on my 6.5 Creedmoor and it’s held zero with no movement or canting at all.

Parallax & Magnification

With a variable magnification of 10-50x, 600 yard shots look like they’re 200 yards.

I’ve found that this scope almost eliminates the need for a separate spotting scope because I can see bullet holes at 600 yards!

For bench rest shooting, this magnification range is absolutely amazing. I’ve also used it for hunting on my .30-06 and have been able to easily spot prey at a significant distance.

One thing that I did notice is that at the hottest part of the day, the heat waves at 50x magnification blurred the picture a little bit. Fortunately, I rarely need to use the highest magnification setting, so it hasn’t been a huge problem.

You don’t have to worry about parallax either, because the Sightron SIII SS comes with a side focus adjustment.

Mounting & Rings

This doesn’t come with a mount, so you’ll need to purchase one separately.

I actually bought Burris 30mm rings for mine and they work perfectly.

It does come with a neoprene scope cover.

Is the Sightron SIII SS worth it?

The Sightron SIII SS easily compares with scopes that are twice the price and will help you make precise shots for competitions or hunting.

It features:

  • Fast focus eyebell
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Dot reticle with crosshairs
  • Variable 10-50x magnification
  • Side focus parallax adjustment
  • Exac Track elevation and windage turrets

If you’re looking for the best scope for bench rest shooting, try the Sightron SIII SS 10-50×60. You’ll be happy you did.

SIII Long Range Scope 10-50x 60 Reticle Type: Target Dot
6 Reviews
SIII Long Range Scope 10-50x 60 Reticle Type: Target Dot
  • Magnification: 10-50X
  • Objective Diameter: 60mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm

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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