Best Sniper Scope

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When you begin to think about shooting beyond 300 yards, the entire idea of hitting a target changes. If you want to repeatedly hit that target in a tight grouping, it requires the best sniper scope on the market. We’ve been able to research and find a few budget-friendly scopes. However, be sure to have an open ended budget when purchasing a sniper scope (sometimes referred to as tactical scope). In order to have the precise instruments that can adjust for elevation, parallax, and windage it can cost upwards of $2,000.

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $500

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Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50mm PA –

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It’s not easy finding a sniper scope that is designed for long-range shots that comes in under $500. However, with Vortex, that task wasn’t too hard. Even though this scope is a budget-friendly scope, it’s designed and built with Vortex’s high-quality standards. With any long range scope, the optical lens is what has to be made well in order to perform. This is why Vortex spent much of the $500 budget on a quality optic lens.

The Viper Scope is equipped with premium optical glass that reduces chromatic aberration, delivering bright, sharp and high-contrast images. The glass is also protected with anti-reflective coatings helping with clarity and providing great low-light performance. In addition to the anti-reflective coating, is an ultra-hard lens coating that prevents scratches, abrasions, and oil from damaging the optical lens. The optic is also designed to be both dust and waterproof making it the best sniper scope for a $500 budget.

The Vortex Viper is equipped with a Dead-Hold BDC reticle that helps on hold-over and windage corrections. Perfect for long-range shooting or hunting. Additionally, the side knobs and turrets are easy to access and make it quite easy for any adjustments while at the range or in the field.

For the price, this is an extremely well-built sniper scope. If you don’t have a large budget, this is the scope that will suit you well until you can upgrade. 

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DetailSpec
Weight21.6 oz
Length14.4 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds17.6-6.2 ft
Magnification6.5-20 x
Objective Lens50 mm
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ACCURATE

Listed reticle subtensions are accurate at the highest power.

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BEST VALUE

Priced very well for a long-range tactical scope.

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BEST SNIPER SCOPE WARRANTY

Lifetime warranty no questions asked.

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Nikon Black FX1000 4-16x50SF FX-MOA

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Nikon is one of the oldest optic lens companies manufacturing scopes.  They have been around for over 100 years.  This has allowed them to make scopes for not only the high-end buyers but also the budget-friendly ones as well. With the growing demand for tactical weapons, Nikon created the Black series of sniper scopes. They are designed to perform exceptionally well for long-range shots with great precision. Nikon actually designed them to be ready straight out of the box.

The scope is built with Nikon’s first focal plane optical system, and the reticle was designed to correlate. Each reticle was designed to allow the optimum range of adjustments for windage and holdover adjustments. Along with the reticle adjustments, are the smooth turning aluminum rings making the parallax adjustments easy to focus on a target. The side parallax adjustments actually give you the ability to make changes without leaving the shooting position.

Lastly, the Black FX1000 is o-ring sealed preventing dust, debris, or water from entering the scope tube. It also features a shockproof design making this the best sniper scope for a tactical rifle. The durability and cost alone make this an easy choice for a gun that will see more than just the range.

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DetailSpec
Weight23.3 oz
Length14.8 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds27.2 ft - 6.8 ft
Magnification4-16 x
Objective Lens50 mm
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QUALITY

Nikon has a legacy for making high-quality scopes.

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BALANCED SCOPE

Nikon Black offers quality matched with a great price point.

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BEST TACTICAL SCOPE

Built with durability and extreme protection.

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Bushnell Elite 4500 4-16x40mm

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Bushnell is probably second to Nikon on the number of years in business and brand loyalty.  Having been in business for over 65 years, they have been a market leader in hunting scopes and rangefinders. They provide high-quality scopes with the majority falling under the $1500 range. The Elite 4500 is one that actually fits in our less than $500 category.  It offers the best sniper scope with the most versatility. It can fit as a tactical scope on your rifle or can be used as a long-range hunting scope as well.

The Elite 4500 is suited with Bushnell’s RainGuard HD, which allows moisture to bead up and scatter less light across a clear field of view.  This makes it great for all weather conditions for hunting or shooting. In addition to the RainGuard HD, the scope is 100{209bd58f90af0ceb66889e2480632d3a9918d39fd8a1f6558651adb42d8fa97c} waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. Similar to the Vortex Viper, Bushnell applies a coating on all air-to-glass surfaces that helps deliver brightness and great contrast to images. It does all this while still decreasing eye strain because only a small amount of light is lost to the shooters eye.

The one thing to consider with the Bushnell is the objective lens is 10mm smaller than the others in this category meaning it will have less light allowed into the scope. However, Bushnell applies an anti-reflective coating allowing the best possible light to enter, meaning it will still perform really well in low light settings. 

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DetailSpec
Weight18 oz
Length13.75 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds26-7 ft
Magnification4-16 x
Objective Lens40 mm
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DURABLE

The Elite is built with recoil-proof construction

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GUARANTEE

Carries Bushnell’s bulletproof guarantee.

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VERSATILITY

Suited for hunting, target shooting, and varmints.

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $1000

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Bushnell Tactical 4.5-30x50mm

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When you get closer to the $1000 mark, you begin to see how your money goes a bit further towards a much better scope. The Bushnell Tactical is an extremely robust scope for being under $1000. It offers a wide power range making it quite easy to go from near to long-range shots with a simple adjustment. On top of that, it also gives a wider spectrum when it comes to the field of vision unlike any in the first category.

The Bushnell Tactical is a blackout design perfect for any long range tactical rifle. It has this simple design that makes it easy to use and adjust for elevation and windage. Bushnell didn’t just market it as a tactical sniper scope, they designed it to be. It has a 30mm forged aluminum one-piece body giving it extreme strength and durability. So if you plan on taking this into the field, it is designed to withstand the elements.

The Tactical scope is 100{209bd58f90af0ceb66889e2480632d3a9918d39fd8a1f6558651adb42d8fa97c} fog proof and protected with Bushnell RainGuard HD. Additionally, it’s equipped with multi-coated anti-reflective lens application providing superior brightness and clearity.

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DetailSpec
Weight24.1 oz
Length13.1 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds21.6-3.4 ft
Magnification4.5-30 x
Objective Lens50 mm
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TACTICAL SCOPE

Best sniper scope that is fit for tactical applications.

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GREAT VALUE

For the price, this is an extremely versatile scope.

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LEADING PRECISION

Mil-Dot reticle provides high pin point accuracy.

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Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm

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So this Vortex Viper HS-T may look like the sniper scope from our $500 and under selection. However, this Viper scope has some added changes that moves it in to our next price category. For starters, the scope is built on an ultra-strong one-pieced aluminum tube.  This makes it one of the strongest bodies helping keep optimal adjustments for windage and elevation travel.

The Viper HS-T is more suited for mounting to tactical rifles because of its rugged durability. It also offers a larger eye relief compared the Viper 6.5-20x50mm. The HS-T also offers a wider range of power settings making this scope more versatile. With the added power, also comes a wider field of view. This is extremely helpful if you are using your scope for short and long-range applications.

The HS-T is equipped with the premium optical glass delivering sharper images and higher contrast. It also is protected with an anti-reflective coating and is argon sealed making it both fog proof and waterproof. The best part of all is that the HS-T is only a couple hundred dollars more than the Viper. So if you can afford it, this scope offers a lot more versatility and a wider range of power compared to the base Viper scope.

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DetailSpec
Weight22.6 oz
Length15.5 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds17.8-5.1 ft
Magnification6-24 x
Objective Lens50 mm
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WIDE VIEW

Vortex offers a wide field of view for this price point.

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REPUTABLE

Highly recommended by sport shooters and hunters.

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LEADING WARRANTY

Vortex no questions asked warranty guarantee.

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Nikon Monarch 7 – 4-16x50mm –

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Nikon Monarch is one of Nikon’s most advanced sniper scopes offered. It features legendary extra-low dispersion glass, with etched BDC reticle.  The reticles are designed with windage marks and can be zeroed in at 100 or 200 yards. Also, the entire scope is designed as a one-piece 30mm aluminum body matching the durability of Vortex and Bushnell.

Similar to other Nikon scopes, the Monarch 7 has multiple layers of anti-reflective coating to provide a brighter and more precise image. All this while making it usable for both high and low light applications. Outside of the lens coating is the longer provided eye relief that the Monarch 7 delivers.  The longer relief makes this scope perfect for high recoil rifles.

Lastly, the exterior knobs make for simple field adjustments that have a spring load instant zeroing turret. It also has Nikon’s spot on ballistic technology which provide the shooter with the exact points of aim when looking at your reticle from various yardages.

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DetailSpec
Weight19.4 oz
Length19.49 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds25.2-6.3 ft
Magnification4-16 x
Objective Lens50 mm
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NO FAULT POLICY

Nikon will repair and replace any riflescope.

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LEADING TECHNOLOGY

Nikon has established itself as a leading the industry with its designs.

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SIMPLE

Easy to adjust knobs and settings.

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $1750

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $1750

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Night Force SHV – 5-20x56mm –

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Night Force is hands down one of the best pioneers in making quality and precise sniper scopes. Founded by Ray Dennis, an Australian dentist, who first invented spotlights for night hunting. Night hunting in Australia is quite common and legal as opposed to the USA. The company started selling lights to the military and eventually started to gravitate to the optics market. With the push for military contracts, Nightforce received their first one in 2000. They focused on special forces and long-range scopes alone. They never ventured into reflex optics or magnified optics. This has allowed them to create the best sniper scope for long-range targets. If the Navy SEALS utilize, Night Force they have to be reliable and durable.

Even though Night Force focused on the military at first. They designed the first scopes for rabbit and fox hunting. Their scopes are exceptionally reliable and rugged. When you look at the Night Force SHV and move over the $1000 budget mark, you begin to see the full potential a high-quality scope can achieve. The SHV has a wide spectrum of power and one of the largest objective lenses in this class. It includes a 30mm main tube, illuminated reticle options, and ZeroSet. This scope is the best sniper scope in the $1750 class and it comes in closer to the $1000 mark, making this a great buy.

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DetailSpec
Weight29.1 oz
Length15.2 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds17.9-5 ft
Magnification5-20 x
Objective Lens56 mm
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BEST SNIPER SCOPE

Nightforce makes the best scope for long range hunting and shooting.

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MILITARY GRADE

Built to support Military conditions.

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GREAT VALUE

Well within the $1000-$1750 budget mark.

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $1750

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Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm –

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Leupold is no entry level scope and when you go over the $1000 dollar threshold you see they make some of the finest long range scopes. The VX-5HD is equipped with everything you need to make long-range shots, and it’s stripped of anything that is not necessary.  That makes this one of the lightest scopes in its class. So, if you are planning a long hike into a hunting location this has to be the go-to scope.

The Leupold is equipped with a zero lock setting getting you back to zero quickly. It also has rain shield coating preventing any scratches, water, or dirt from penetrating the scope. In addition to the durable coating is the built-in technology that gives the shooter some things to not have to worry about. Such as the motion sensing that deactivates illumination after 5 minutes.

Lastly, one of the nicest features the Leupold has is that it requires no tools to zero in the rifle. All adjustments can easily be made with the dial settings. It does have aluminum covers to help protect those zero settings when you are finished. The VX-5HD is an extremely simple scope but packs all the features needed to make this the best sniper scope from Leupold for under $1750.

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DetailSpec
Weight22.3 oz
Length13.5 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds38.2-7.9 ft
Magnification3-15 x
Objective Lens56 mm
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SCOPE BALANCE

Best balance of quality and essentials.

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AFFORDABLE

Built with everything needed to make the best shots, without breaking the bank.

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HISTORY OF QUALITY

Leupold has a history of only the best scope components.

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $1750

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Vortex Razor HD  5-20x50mm –

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When you move from the Vortex Viper to the Razor, you receive a huge jump in price. However, what that extra price gives you is an extraordinary scope built on a 35mm solid one-piece tube. No tube in this class can match that design-build.

For starters, the Razor HD offers first focal plane compared to Vipers second. Next, the Razor offers a broader spectrum of max elevation and windage adjustments that the Viper can’t touch. Meaning it provides a more versatile scope as the distance begins to extend long-range. It does begin to weigh quite a bit more, but this scope offers a much larger tube and a larger interior length optical.

In addition to the exterior benefits, the Razor is built with premium high-density extra-low dispersion glass.  This gives a shooter the highest resolution and clarity. It also features the unique APO system, which uses matched lenses correcting color across the spectrum.  This makes the images in the lens area sharper and brighter than any other scope. It is the most expensive scope in this class, but Vortex has packed a lot into this scope making it their best sniper scope for under $1750 dollars. 

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DetailSpec
Weight37 oz
Length15.8 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds22-5.7 ft
Magnification5-20 x
Objective Lens50 mm
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DUAL PURPOSE

Perfect for tactical or Hunting.

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STATE OF THE ART

Built with the highest quality components.

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FIRST FOCAL PLANE

Razor HD is precision-etched.

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $1750

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Best Sniper Scope – Over $2000

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Schmidt and Bender PMII 3-27x56mm –

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Schmidt and Bender began in the mid-1950 ‘s built up as a family run business. The company was built on quality and precision and over 50 years later those same principles are the heart of this family run business. They have been able to develop and become a leader in sport, hunting, and military/police sniper scopes.

This PMII 3-27x56mm was actually originally developed by the request of the United States Special Operations Command, better known as USSOCOM.  Its sole purpose was being able to achieve long targeted shots. If money is no option, then this scope will not be a shock when you see the price. However, this scope provides everything a long-range scope should have and then some. Nothing was left out on the PMII. It’s hands down the best sniper scope for its spectrum of power settings. It also has one of the largest fields of vision. If you are looking at taking very long range shots there is no better scope.

The PMII has lockable turrets with zero stop function and multiple tactical reticles in the first focal plane. It’s one of the most versatile scopes which is why USSOCOM selected it for its long-range shooting rifles.

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DetailSpec
Weight39.7 oz
Length15.5 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds42-4.59 ft
Magnification3-27 x
Objective Lens56 mm
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WIDEST POWER SETTING

Ideal for near and extremely long-range shots.

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SOCOM SELECTION

Designed and used by the USSOCOM.

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EXPENSIVE

Most expensive sniper scope.

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $1750

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Nightforce C507 5.5-22x56mm –

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The C507 is Nightforce’s most developed and clearest scope that they offer. The objective lens is a huge 56mm, similar to the PMII. This allows for more light to enter the scope providing the clearest image possible. The C507 offers a little more power for longer shots compared to the SHV.

The variable power the nC507 offers makes shooting close and ultra-far shots possible. It doesn’t have quite the range as the PMII, but what it lacks it gains at a much more affordable price point. It’s offered in three different reticles for whichever suits your shooting style. The C507 makes a perfect tactical scope that can be fixed to any rifle whether its an AR10, .50 BMG, or Rem 700. The scope is designed to perform with exceptional accuracy and precision.

It comes with a standard illuminated reticle that pairs well with the side parallax adjustments making it one of Nightforce’s most popular sniper scopes among hunters and tactical shooters. 

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DetailSpec
Weight32 oz
Length15.2 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/4 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds17.5-4.7 ft
Magnification5.5-22 x
Objective Lens56 mm
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WIDEST POWER SETTING

Ideal for near and extremely long-range shots.

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3-RETICLES

MIL-DOT / MIL-R / MOAR

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5-STAR REVIEW

Widely accepted and loved by shooters.

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $1750

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Leupold Mark 8 3.5-25x56mm  –

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Leupold has put together the Mark 8 as their top of the line long-range rifle scope. This is the full package when it comes to a hunting or tactical sniper scope. It’s developed as a 100{209bd58f90af0ceb66889e2480632d3a9918d39fd8a1f6558651adb42d8fa97c} fog and waterproof design, making it perfect for the outdoor elements. It features an Argon/Krypton gas blend, that eliminates thermal shock effects.

Next, as you look at the main tube you’ll notice it’s a robust 35mm, giving a shooter a wide range of windage and elevation adjustments. The exterior glass-air lens is coated with Leupold’s DiamondCoat2, giving you a higher clarity and transmitting more light. The coating also features a highly abrasive resistant application making sure that it can’t be scratched or damaged in the field.

The next feature that sets Leupold aside from the rest is their auto-locking pinch and turn adjustments. This meand that the adjustments unlock when you grip them to adjust. This helps prevent any accidental adjustments while aiming at your target. Lastly, if you are considering hunting or shooting in low light, Leupold has been able to optimize low light transmission with their Twilight lens system. The Mark 8 is not an inexpensive scope, however if you have the budget, this scope really shows off what Leupold scopes offer – quality and durability.

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DetailSpec
Weight37 oz
Length16 in
Click Value @ 100 yds1/10 MOA
Field of Vision @ 100 yds32-4.4 ft
Magnification3.5-25 x
Objective Lens56 mm
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35mm MAINTUBE

Durable rifle scope body.

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TOP TECHNOLOGY

Leupold has developed technology specifically to achieve long-range shots.

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FRONT FOCAL

Illuminating Front Focal for shooters.

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Best Sniper Scope – Under $1750

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What To Look For In The Best Sniper Scope – 

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Glass Quality –

No matter your budget when it comes to looking for a quality long-range tactical scope, glass quality has to be top of mind when selecting a scope. It’s no surprise that the quality of glass in a sniper scope affects how clear the picture is when magnifying a long-distance target. If you go cheap on glass, you may find yourself lacking the necessary clarity, contrast, and visibility for your selected target.  This can result in missed shots or worse, a scope that can’t reach the range you intended for.

The companies we featured all design and select only the best glass for the application of long-distance shooting. However, if you select another brand be sure to check with them on the quality of glass.

Second, you need to check on what is applied to the glass to ensure that the optics will be protected by water, dust, fog, and abrasions. Every manufacturer uses a different method or application, however, be sure to check with them.

Power Range –

The power or magnification of a scope is extremely important, especially for a sniper scope. Be sure to understand where your intended targets will be before you select a power. Some scopes provide a wide range, but that usually comes at a higher cost.  Make sure the understand the distance you are trying to achieve before you select the wrong size.

Also look for scopes that have zero reset adjustments. Purchasing an expensive tactical scope requires the ability to get back to zero fast.  Zero resets give the shooter the ability to do so.

Reticle Selection –

Every manufacturer has varying selections of reticles. They all will be listed upon purchasing, however, if you have little experience selecting check out the difference between MOA and MRAD [here]Most sniper scopes will have a milling reticle, or a reticle with lines indicating measurable distances. This provides a shooter with the necessary measurements to hit a long-distance target.

Objective Lens Size –

Most of the scopes in our selection are either 50mm or 56mm. It’s important to know that the objective lens is what allows external light to enter the scope. Therefore the larger size will allow for more light penetration providing clear more visible targets. This is extremely important in low light situations.

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