The 10 Best sniper scopes (September 2020)

by Steve Coffman, last updated on
Steiner T5Xi 1-5x24mm Tactical Rifle Scope, 3TR 7.62mm Reticle - Close Compact Riflescope for Hunting

SteinerT5Xi 1-5x24mm Tactical Scope

BEST CHOICE

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - EBR-4 Reticle (MOA)

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50mm

BEST VALUE

Nightforce Optics 5-25x56 ATACR Series Riflescope, Matte Black with DigIllum Illuminated SFP MOAR-T Reticle, 34mm Tube Diameter, .250 MOA, Side Parallax Adjust

Nightforce Optics 5-25x56mm ATACR Riflescope

BEST PREMIUM

Using a scope will help you make long-distance shots that count. With the right optic equipped to your weapon, you get added clarity, further range, and super-precise tools to compensate for elevation, parallax, and windage. If you check the best sniper scopes available, you'll find they come in a wide range of variants, each with its own power, adjustment turrets and exclusive reticles. As a result, there is a lot of information to be covered so you can find a scope to suit your needs when used with any rifle.

However, if you are a regular hunter, the other side is to be familiar with which optic is the right fit for you. You want a rifle scope to suit your shooting style to a T. That is where we can help! So, if you are ready to invest in an optic for your shooting needs, make sure to read our top sniper scopes reviews that follow here.

Top 10 Long Range Sniper Scopes Review in Our List

1. Vortex Viper HS LR 6-24x50 Sniper Scope

The Vortex Viper HS LR scopes built like a tank with feature-rich functions and razor-edge sharp optics. The tactical scope will put any other high-end optic to shame. Not only does it have the FFP (first focal plane) feature you get accurate ranging with any magnification.

Furthermore, you get extra-low dispersion glass with laser-etched XLR reticle. For use in the field, while hunting or shooting at targets, the crosshair can withstand any recoil thrown at it. You do not need to mess around with different knobs or bullet drop compensators as it makes everything simpler for you. This is a characteristic to be desired on the best sniper scopes of the market.

You get a simple MOA sub tension for windage and elevation for accurate and repeatable results with every shot you make. So what does this mean for you? It means you utilize your aiming points within the crosshair for holdovers making you stealthier.

Vortex Optics Viper HS LR 6-24x50 First Focal Plane Riflescope - XLR Reticle (MOA)
  • The XLR Reticle is a hashmarked MOA-based long range reticle with wind drift dots and 1 MOA wind reference subtensions. Good for long range shooters dialing for bullet drop or holding drop while using the reticle.
  • In the advanced optical system, the XD glass renders an image that is sharp and clear from edge to edge. There are XR multi-coated lenses allowing you to capture the most light from dawn til dusk.The 4x zoom range will pull you close to your target.
  • The HS LR offers exposed target-style elevation turrets for dialing elevation at extended ranges. The CRS Zero Stop allows you to get back to referencing zero even after coming up several revolutions on the turret.Field of View:17.8-5.1 ft/100 yds
  • Ultra-hard, scratch resistant Armortek coatings protect the exterior lenses of the scope. Argon purging provides fogproof and waterproof performance. The hard-anodized matte black finish is extremely durable and looks awesome too.
  • A subset of the Viper HS line, the Viper HS LR (Hunting & Shooting Long Range) 6-24x50 First Focal Plane scope is perfect for when you need to extend your shooting range and bullet drop and wind drift compensation are crucial.

Key Features:

  • Comes with bullet drop and wind drift compensation
  • Hash marked XLR Reticle with MOA crosshair with wind drift drops
  • Target-style elevation turret
  • Weatherproof Construction

Specifications:

  • Reticle: XLR with MOA Click
  • Max Elevation Adjustment: 65 MOA
  • Max Windage Adjustment: 42 MOA
  • Parallax Setting: 50-yards to infinity.

2. Vortex Viper PST Gen2 5-25x50

Do you need to reach WAY out there? Do you need reliable performance when looking for the best budget sniper scope? You will love the Viper PST Gen 2 from Viper. 

However, some changes have taken place to the previous PST model. You get an integrated illumination knob with side focus/parallax adjustment.

A fact is the streamlined profile makes it more user-friendly out in the field when hunting. The tactical-style turrets are robust and easy to turn even when you wear gloves (a big plus when shooting in the cold.) 

You get a fast focus eyepiece as well. However, most importantly you get instant magnification when you look through the glass.

The XD optical system is fully multi-coated with the front focal plane crosshair. The glass-etched reticle is perfect for close-range shots compensating for bullet drop and wind drift. Also, if you want to make long-range shots roll up the magnification and enjoy the clearly defined optic.

Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - EBR-4 Reticle (MOA)
  • The Viper PST Gen II takes incredible performance and rock solid tactical features to new heights. The 5-25x50 second focal plane riflescope is incredibly versatile and ideal for close to long range shooting scenarios.
  • Shooters who dial their turrets for bullet drop and wind compensation will appreciate the laser etched turrets, adjustable parallax and the RZR zero stop. A fiber optic rotation indicator ensures you can keep track of your turret position with ease.
  • The reticle offers shooters highly functional, intuitive, and detailed hold points, yet remains uncluttered for optimal viewing and features 10 intensity levels with off positions between each setting.Field of View:24.1-4.8 ft/100 yds
  • Extra-low dispersion glass increases resolution and color fidelity. XR fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission. Armored coatings protect the lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
  • O-ring sealed and argon purged, the Viper delivers waterproof and fog proof performance while the single-piece, aircraft-grade aluminum construction gives shooters a durable platform.

Key Features:

  • Second focal plane riflescope for close to long range shooting
  • Laser-etched turrets with adjustable parallax
  • Extra-low dispersion glass with XR fully multi-coated lens
  • Weatherproof

Specifications:

  • Adjustments: ¼ MOA
  • Windage Adjustment: 35 MOA
  • Elevation Adjustment: 70 MOA
  • Eye Relief: 3.4-inches

3. Leupold VX-2 4-12x40

The leupold VX 2 optic offers you a bunch of useful features for close to long-range shots. For the serious hunter or shooter, the functionality of the riflescopes loved by all. So what makes the sniper scope special to use?

You get an objective parallax adjustment from 25-yards to infinity (what else can you ask for?). The turrets click adjustable and adjust quickly. 

The lens is lead-free to help with light transmission and comes with enhanced abrasion resistant covering. Furthermore, the constructions weatherproof and it performs well in lowlight conditions, as the best sniper scopes do.

The only problem you may have is the small 4.9-inch surface on the main tube making mounting it to certain rifles troublesome. However, the AO scope has a brilliant design and mechanically sound to provide you with a lifetime of use.

Leupold VX-2 4-12x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope, Duplex Reticle, Matte Finish, Black (114396)
  • Quick and easy parallax adjustment in the field
  • 1/4 MOA precision finger click adjustments for windage and elevation
  • Absolute waterproof and fogproof integrity
  • Brightness, clarity, and contrast needed to hunt in any weather conditions
  • Covered by Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee

Key Features:

  • Boosts light transmission by 94%
  • Comes with a custom dial system
  • Has a Quantum Optical System
  • Index Matched Lens Coating with Blackened Lens Edge

Specifications:

  • Adjustments: ¼ MOA
  • Windage Adjustment: 67 MOA
  • Elevation Adjustment: 67 MOA
  • Eye Relief: 4.9-inches

4. Nikon Prostaff 5 4.5-18x40

The sniper scopesfor the hunter to shoot long distances for making a perfect shot. You get hand-turned reticle adjustment with instant zero-reset turrets. There is a convenient quick focus eyepiece for making adjustments while in your shooting position.

Furthermore, you can use it the Nikon Spot Ballistic Match Technology to remove the guesswork for bullet drop compensation. 

The optic is fully multi-coated for light transmission and can shoot in extreme low light environments. The field of view is wide to stay on target when making long-range shots to keep your eye on the target.

Even the reticle adjustments hand-turn with ⅛ MOA click-stop moves you can hear and feel and can withstand repeated recoil. With the rugged construction, you can take the optic anywhere with you.

Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BCD Riflescope, Black, 4.5-18x40
  • Features Nikon's patented BDC reticle with see-through ballistic circles for superior long-range shooting
  • Adjustments are made easy with Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets
  • Made with Nikon's fully multicoated optics for maximum brightness and light transmission
  • A quick focus eyepiece allows the shooter to instantly bring the reticle into focus
  • Optimized for use with Nikon's Spot On Ballistic Match Technology

Key Features:

  • BDC Reticle with Transparent Ballistic Circle Reticle
  • Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets
  • Fully Multicoated Optic
  • Quick Focus Eyepiece

Specifications:

  • Adjustments: ⅛ MOA
  • Max Internal Adjustment: 40 MOA
  • Side Focus: Yes
  • Parallax Setting: 50-yards to infinity
  • Eye Relief: 4-inches

5. Athlon Argos BTR 8-34x56 FFP

For a long-range sniper scope to shoot out to 1000 yards, you need the Argos BTR optic. The riflescope has a fantastic precision rifle budget build for hunting and comes with a hefty 32-ounce weight. Therefore, you should not mount it to featherweight mountain rifles or range toys.

You get multicoated lenses for increasing the image brightness and clarity when used at dusk to dawn. While it is not a spotting scope,you can still replace one with the Argos BTR. 

Furthermore, it offers you an easy-to-use AMPR FFP IR MIL reticle. The crosshair is not busy compared to other optics.

The illuminated reticle gives you a better contrast in low-light conditions as well. Another fantastic thing is the crosshairs etched on the glass to withstand recoil. On the other hand, with the first focal plane and durable waterproof construction, you can take it anywhere as with the best sniper scopes.

Athlon Optics , Argos BTR , Riflescope , 8-34 x 56 First Focal Plane (FFP) 30 mm Tube, Illuminated ATMR MOA Reticle ,
  • First focal plane reticle stays valid at all power settings allowing you to fully utilize the specially designed reticle that shrinks or grows along with your target as you zoom in or out.
  • Advanced Fully Multi-Coated lenses gives you better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light spectrum.
  • Reticle etched on the glass that provides excellent backing support for complex reticle design and offers great durability and much higher shock resistance to recoil
  • The 6061T6 aircraft grade aluminum tube that has exceptional strength and superior mechanical integrity will protect these world class optics no matter what punishment you throw at it
  • Argon purging gives you better waterproofing and thermal stability

Key Features:

  • Fully Multicoated Optic
  • Illuminated Reticle
  • Exposed Turret Style
  • Weatherproof

Specifications:

  • Adjustments: 0.1 MIL
  • Windage Adjustment: 13 MIL
  • Elevation Adjustment: 13 MIL
  • Parallax Setting: 15-yards to infinity
  • Eye Relief: 3.3-inches

6. Bushnell Tactical Elite ERS 3.5-21x50 G2

For a military sniper riflescope, you will love the Bushnell Tactical Elite ERS. The optic has a solid short and heavy weight of 35 ounces. You will love the locking elevation and windage turrets with positive audible feel. The parallax adjustments found in the usual location on the left side.

While it does not focus less than 75 yards, you can shoot out to 2000 yards with it. Furthermore, it makes for one of the best spotting scopes and offers you clarity in any lighting condition. The G2 reticles not busy and used in the windage line as you can dial elevation and holds well.

The adjustable magnification offers you the precision to shoot in tight quarters out to extended ranges.

Bushnell Tactical Elite ERS 3.5-21x 50mm G2DMR FFP Reticle Riflescope, Flat Dark Earth
  • Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
  • 100% quality materials used and tested extensively
  • Beautiful design and durability built to last
  • Adjustable 3.5x to 21x magnification, 50mm objective lens offers precision delivery from tight quarters to extended ranges
  • G2DMR features a mil-hash marked First Focal Plane (FFP) reticle designed for ranging, holdover and windage correction

Key Features:

  • Stunning HD Clarity 
  • Adjustable Magnification
  • G2DMR reticle with mil-hash mark FFP crosshair
  • Weatherproof

Specifications:

  • Adjustments: 0.1 MIL
  • Power Objective Lens: 3.5-21x 50mm
  • FOV: 26 feet (3.5) and 5 feet (21x) at 100 yards
  • Eye Relief: 3.7-inches 

7. Burris XTR II 1-5x24

The Burris XTR II is a compact scope with all the right features you need for close to long-range shots. The rear focal plane scope has a zoom that starts at 1x to use with both your eyes open. 

While the 5X magnification is great for mid-range situations. For quick target acquisition, it has an XTR II Ballistic Gen 3 reticle and available in MIL measurements with the illuminated crosshair.

Furthermore, it comes with BDC for making shots out to 1000 yards. The tactical scope also offers you an all-around use for shooting targets at the range and shots made at long distances out in the field. While the adjustable turret does not have a locking function, it has the zero stop built-in.

Burris XTR II Riflescope with 5.56 Ballistic Illuminated Reticle Combo, 1.5-5x 24mm
  • XTR II 1.5-5x24mm with FastFire III and P.E.P.R mount
  • Ballistic 5.56 illuminated reticle with dual focal plane
  • 30mm main tube
  • Zero click stop adjustment knobs
  • Rear focal plane

Key Features:

  • Five Times Zoom System
  • Rear & Dual Focus Plane Reticles
  • Zero Click Stop Adjustment Knobs
  • Advanced Elevation & Windage Adjustment

Specifications:

  • Adjustments: MIL RAD
  • Adjustment Range: 90 MOA
  • FOV: 21.5 – 108 feet at 100 yards
  • Eye Relief: 3.5-inches

8. Nightforce 5-25x56 ATACR

Now if you need a true military styled sniper scope, wait until you have the Nightforce mounted to your rifle. You get an ideal long-range tactical riflescope with First Focal Plane optical system. The crosshair remains the same regardless of magnification. You get flexibility for ranging and sizing targets.

The ED glass is fully multi-coated and comes with a 120 MOA elevation travel. Additionally, it comes with other fantastic features as well. There is an elevation turret with a larger diameter and low-profile knob. The clicks are smooth and positive when you use it. The feeling is that of the best sniper scopes.

The windage travel is 80 MOA and engineered with windage stop to prevent it from traveling in any direction after zeroing it in. There is also a Power Throw Lever in the middle of the power range. The device helps to make quick magnification changes and comes with the flush insert installed.

Key Features:

  • Standard Power Throw Lever
  • Available with different reticles
  • Zero Stop Elevation
  • Weatherproof

Specifications:

  • Adjustments: 120 MOA (elevation) and 80 MOA (windage)
  • Click Value: .250 MOA
  • Parallax Adjustment: 45-yards to infinity
  • Eye Relief: 3.5-inches

9. Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x56 MOAR

For long-range precision, the Nightforce NXS is a perfect riflescope with an optical performance that is amazing. One of its best qualities is its build with weatherproof construction. Just the fact that the construction contains no single block of aluminum is perfect for combat use.

With the considerable length and weight, it a high-quality hunting scope. The eyepiece adjusts in the same manner as other riflescopes and comes with a locking ring. You get a MOAR reticle for quick target and precise aiming. Both the windage and elevation spacing is 1 MOA.

You can use it for any application from tactical competitions to long-range hunting. Another helpful feature to use in the field is the zero stop function. 

With the feature, it helps you find your initial reference point quickly. While not one of the cheapest sniperscopes,it remains a big contender for you check out.

On sale

Key Features:

  • Comes with a Second Focal Plane
  • 100 MOA Internal Adjustment
  • Analog Illumination
  • Zero Stop Elevation

Specifications:

  • Internal Adjustment: 100 MOA (elevation) and 60 MOA (windage)
  • Click Value: .250 MOA
  • Parallax Adjustment: 50-yards to infinity
  • Eye Relief: 3.9-inches

10. Steiner T5Xi 1-5x24

Steiner has redesigned their sniper scope with new turrets, length, and weight reductions. In the optic is one of the best general used reticles on the market known as the SCR. The turrets adjust in one mil increments and effective for use with a mil-based SCR crosshair.

The elevation turret comes with a zero stop function and comes with a lower profile as well. The elevation turret has a viewing window to help eliminate guessing when in a hurry to make a shot. Once the windage turrets zeroed you get 5 ½ -inch increments with a total of 15 mil adjustment available.

The SCR reticles not cluttered and do not obscure your target when aiming. Compared to the older versions of riflescopes from Steiner the changes welcomed.

Steiner T5Xi 1-5x24mm Tactical Rifle Scope, 3TR 7.62mm Reticle - Close Compact Riflescope for Hunting
  • ULTIMATE ACCURACY – Rely on Steiner’s T5Xi 1-5x 24mm Riflescope tactical rifle scope to provide precision through its one-piece, oversized 34mm tube that increases strength and reliability.
  • SPECIAL COMPETITION RETICLE (SCR) - Designed for precision competition use, it offers an extended illumination area, windage and holdover lines. 1/10-mil ranging brackets allow for precise ranging.
  • THROW LEVER allows quick, easy magnification changes and Tenebraex LENS COVERS protect the lenses from dust and moisture.
  • SECOND ROTATION INDICATOR - After the first 120 clicks, the mil numbers on the scale change automatically preventing the shooter from getting lost on the dial.
  • HERITAGE WARRANTY - We stand behind our products. Period! We will repair/replace defective products at no charge for the lifetime of the product. Warranty does not cover damage, loss or theft.

Key Features:

  • Locking Diopter
  • Consistent Eye Relief
  • Throw Lever
  • Weatherproof

Specifications:

  • Focal Plane: 2nd
  • Eye Relief: 3.5-inches
  • Parallax: Fixed with a 100-yard focus range
  • Waterproof: Submersible to 33 feet

FAQs

How Do You Choose a Sniper Scope?

There are many factors to consider when you pick your next scope. The critical thing to remember is the higher the magnification level the more accurate you can shoot. Furthermore, you need to consider construction quality and lighting as well.

For shooting in low-light conditions, you need at least 0.236 inches to locate your target effectively. On the other hand, you need to think if you want fixed or variable power. However, for long distance shooting using a variable optic is better. You can adjust the magnification to suit your different needs.

Another crucial thing is the quality of the lens available in the riflescope. With a fully multi-coated lens, it collects the light from your surroundings to give you a clear view of the target. The other feature to look at is the lens size. The larger the lens, the higher it needs mounting on the guns bore.

Further, the sniper optic that you choose need to have a durable waterproof construction to use in different environments. Lastly, look at the turrets to control the adjustment made for windage and elevation. Luckily, all of the scopes reviewed offer you a positive zero stop.

What Scope Does Marine Snipers Use?

Luckily, for you, we have the same brand available on the list shortly used by Marine Snipers. The newest sniper rifle is the Nightforce Advanced Tactical Riflescope. The SOCOM snipers will be replacing their M40 gun with the latest 6.5mm Creedmoor rifle and replacing their old optic with the Nightforce addition.

They chose the riflescope with its Tremor 3 reticle to engage with their target at long distances. The crosshair features wind dots to help the shooter with quick wind estimations. Furthermore, it works out complicated formulas to save time when engaging a target.
The commercially sold scope offers the same features but does not withstand the positive and negative pressure changes related to altitude.

They also use specialized scopes, such as thermal scopes for night vision.

Conclusion

Depending on whether you use your rifle for competitions or taking down a buck 1000 yards away, you need to pick one of the scopes that you trust. If you pick one of the ones reviewed, you can make shooting close to long-range shots with ease. The important thing is to consider your personal needs before making a final decision. Always consider how you plan to use the optic and how much money you want to invest. The scope needed for a .22lr is not the same as shooting a handgun. Therefore, if you need to hit your target with precision and have reliable handling, you will not be left disappointed with the sniper scopes reviewed here.


Related links

> Vortex Strikefire 2 Review
> Vortex Crossfire Review

Last update on 2020-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API