However, with so many scopes out there that claim to be the best for long-range shooting, it’s hard to know which ones are actually good and which aren’t.
To help you out, we’ve put together this guide on the best 1000 yard scopes with both scope recommendations and everything else you need to know to choose not only a great scope but the right scope for you.
So before we get to the best scopes for 1000 yards, let’s start by going over some background.
What Are 1000 Yard Scopes?
“Long-range” is hardly a standard range of distances. Different people consider different distances to be long-range. Even the same person often has different definitions for what constitutes “long-range” based on caliber and activity.
1000-yards, however, has become a standard for both sniper practice and shooting competition and along with that have come scopes optimized for this distance.
It’s therefore helpful to refer to this standard specifically when discussing these scopes to clarify that you’re not talking about another type of long-range scope.
1000 yard scopes tend to be characterized by powerful magnification, adjustable parallax, precision reticles, and high levels of optical clarity. They also tend to have adjustable parallax.
They’re generally intended to be used alongside long-range rounds like 6.5 Creedmoor, 5.56 NATO, and .338 Lapua.
What Are The Different Types of 1000 Yard Scopes?
1000 yard scopes are most frequently used for target shooting. However, they are also sometimes used for hunting or tactical purposes.
Scopes are often optimized for one of these three purposes.
Target scopes are the most popular type of 1000 yard scope. These scopes are intended for precision shooting. They tend to have the highest magnification of any type of scope and very small clicks on the turrets.
Reticles tend to be in the second focal plane. They also tend to have simple crosshairs. However, they may have a BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticle or similar style to help with ballistic correction, such as for holdover.
Most of us never get the opportunity to make shots in the 1000 yard range while hunting. For the lucky few who do, however, there are scopes designed for that.
1000 yard hunting scopes tend to have lower magnification to preserve a larger field of view. They generally have simple reticles that allow hunters a clear view of their prey.
They also tend to have low-profile capped turrets since they’re only really intended to be manipulated to zero the scope.
Tactical 1000 yards scopes are primarily intended for use by police and law enforcement. After all, the chances of being in a position to defend yourself from a threat 1000 yards away are almost nothing as a civilian.
However, some civilians do like using tactical scopes for target shooting, especially for tactical competition.
Tactical scopes generally have uncapped turrets and ballistic reticles. The turrets and reticles generally match.
This means that a fixed number of turret clicks (usually 10) accounts for a shift in the point of impact that’s equal to the distance between hash marks on the reticle. Reticles tend to be in the first focal plane and are often illuminated.
Magnification tends to be on the higher end, but not as high as target scopes.
How Does a 1000 Yard Scope Work?
On the most basic level, a 1000 yard scope works the same as pretty much any other.
Light enters the scope through the objective lens, then travels to the erector system in the main tube, which houses the reticle and magnification lens.
The magnification lens shifts forward or backward in the scope to adjust the level of magnification. The reticle can be either in front of the magnification lens or behind it.
If the former, it’s a front or first focal plane (FFP) reticle or scope. This causes the target and reticle to stay the same size in proportion to each other as magnification changes.
In other words, as the magnification increases, both the target and the reticle appear to grow larger.
If it’s the latter, it’s a rear or second focal plane (SFP) reticle or scope. In a second focal plane scope, the reticle stays a fixed size regardless of the magnification power.
After exiting the main tube, the light enters the eyepiece to exit through the optical lens and form your sight picture.
What Do You Look For In The Best 1000 Yard Scope?
Now you know more about what 1000 yard scopes are good for and how they work. Let’s move on to how to choose a high quality 1000 yard scopes.
To shoot 1000 yards, you obviously need a high power scope. A 1000 yard scope isn’t going to be used for close-range shooting, so you can opt for a relatively high minimum magnification.
Around 5-7x is generally a good range for minimum magnification. Maximum magnification generally starts around 20x, but it can go much, much higher as well.
Of course, the magnification strength doesn’t matter if the riflescope doesn’t also provide a clear sight picture.
The scope should have clear, high-quality lenses that provide a high definition, undistorted sight picture with high color fidelity. They should provide good light transmission but should prevent glare for excellent performance in all light conditions.
Good scopes can be pricey but they also tend to go through a lot. Make sure you’re getting the most from your money by choosing one that’s highly durable.
Argon or nitrogen purging and o-ring seals ensure that a scope is waterproof and fog proof. You also want to make sure that your scope is shockproof so that you know it will stand up to repetitive recoil.
A single-piece aircraft-grade aluminum scope body can help with this.
Best 1000 Yard Scopes Reviewed
Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22X56 Riflescope (Our Top Pick)
Our favorite 1000 yard scope is the Nightforce NXS riflescope. It has a MOAR reticle to help with on-the-fly windage and elevation adjustments.
The reticle is illuminated for better visibility.
Zero Stop turrets make returning to zero easy after making turret adjustments. Speaking of which, the scope allows for 100 MOA internal adjustment for elevation and 60 MOA for windage.
This scope has an illuminated glass-etched EBR-4 MOA reticle with 10 illumination intensity settings. It has matching Zero Stop tactical-style MOA windage and elevation turrets for easy zeroing and adjustment.
The scope is waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. It also has a matte hard-coat anodized finish and ArmorTek scratch-resistant lens coating.
Fast focus eyepiece
Fully multicoated lenses with extra-low dispersion glass
It’s a more tactical-style scope in that it has an illuminated first focal plane reticle. However, it has a Burris Special Competition (MOA) reticle and exposed turrets, so it’s more for tactical-style target shooting than actual tactical use.
In addition, this scope has an ergonomic side focus parallax adjustment.
1000 yard shooting is a great way to have fun and test your shooting skills but it requires a solid optic. Hopefully, by now you’re able to choose the right 1000 yard scope for your needs, budget, and preferences.
Don’t stress too much though. Any of these scopes are a great option for your 1000 yard shots.