Many shooters will get with call the thousand yard stare once they begin to shoot at long-range. A play on the old shell shock condition from wars past, the new thousand-yard stare is an infection of the mind and a passion for long-range shooting.
Shooting successfully 1000 yards in competition or for fun is a feat that many people can become obsessed with. Especially when you start to get good at hitting targets, first-round hits and shrinking groups are measures of accomplishment and the shooting world that few other stunts can compete with.
Part of having the ability to shoot at extremely long ranges as having the correct optics to get the job done. Here are the five best scope for 1000 yard stare.
Magnification vs Field of View
When purchasing a scope you are going to run into two main features that affect shooting at very long ranges. Magnification and field-of-view. Both of these features are going to drive up the cost of the scope and place demands on engineering associated with the features that make the scope of work. Both of these measurements are important. Magnification is how large the optics of the scope make the target appear when viewed through the aperture.
This is important because you can shoot much further than you can see, but it doesn’t help you shoot better. It’s a common myth many people think that high magnification will allow you to shoot better. Magnified optics allow you to see better. If you had poor fundamentals before you strapped on a super magnification scope, you’ll have poor fundamentals and be a poor shooter afterward.
The field of view of the scope gets much less attention. Essentially, the field of view in a scope is one how much of the landscape you will see through the aperture of the scope when used at a given magnification range.
This is a problem because to shoot 1000 yards can mean you get a fraction of the field-of-view that you do at 100 yards. This is exceptionally important because a small difference in where you point the rifle can mean several minutes of just looking for the target through your scope.
Try to balance the amount of magnification and the field-of-view that you have on your scope. You’ll be a better shooter for it and have a much better time looking for and nailing targets than you would if you got too much magnification and too little field-of-view.
Best Scope for 1000 Yard Stare on the Market Review
1. NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
If there’s a company that makes the best scopes in the world, it might be night force. They make exceptionally high quality and rugged optics that many people don’t even know about because they never need this level. If you are going to be shooting 1000 yards regularly and want a white field-of-view there aren’t a lot of options on the market tailor-made for your needs.
Night force specializes in clientele that needs these features and this model is an excellent example. This is a military grade exceptionally rugged optic that you can bet your life on. Is extremely heavy and also exceptionally rugged because of all the armor and double thickness glass that goes into this rifle scope.
It has a purpose made reticle that has a steep learning curve that is difficult to use under pressure until you start to know it like the back of your hand. If you are not going to be shooting at 1000 yards very regularly, don’t consider this rifle scope.
If you are going to be shooting at 1000 yards regularly and can afford it, this is by far one of the best scopes for money can buy for this purpose.
2. Burris 5-25x50mm Illuminator Riflescope
Burris is hit one out of the park with this exceptional rifle scope. It balances a massive 50 mm objective Bell, 30 mm tube, an excellent build quality with outstanding features while still coming in at a decent weight and price. All around, this is going to be the best rifle scope for shooting 1000 yards, for most shooters.
Built around a compact body, but still huge 50 mm objective Bell this scope has fully multicoated lenses and illuminated BDC reticle. It has every feature you need to shoot successfully at extremely long ranges but does include anything that will make the scope hard to use or distracting under pressure. For hunting or competition use it doesn’t get any better than this!
While a BDC reticle is included in this rifle scope, it is exceptionally easy to use. Being comprised mostly hash marks that help you predict the arc of your bullet while in flight. There are no pictograms or specialized graduations for you to remember, and no need to tailor your bullet and load combination to this reticle.
Once you get this scope cited in and mouse up to the rifle you’ll quickly realize why it is one of the best rifle scopes for shooting at 1000 yards.
3. Leupold VX-2 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope
Leupold makes the absolute best sportsmen quality scopes on the market. This is from their VX – two lineup and is one of the best scopes to have because you get all the optical quality of their higher dollar scopes, and only miss out on some superfluous features that make shooting easier, but not impossible without them.
Everything you need to shoot out to 1000 yards is present on the scope. Awesome light transmission, good magnification, and decent low light performance. What you don’t have is a whole bunch of specialized features you will only use while at the range.
The great thing about this scope is the price. For the cost of the scope, you can easily say several hundred dollars over others with similar optical quality. If you will occasionally be shooting out to 1000 yards, but not much further, and will be shooting at larger targets this is an ideal scope.
Mainly because you get all the performance of the larger objective bells with a lighter and smaller optic that will better suit you should you be shooting at closer ranges most of the time. Especially for people who will be hunting at normal ranges, and target shooting at longer ranges, this is a great compromise scope that can save you a lot of money.
4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-24x50mm AO
Vortex optics needs no introduction. They make some the most innovative and cost-effective rifle scopes for sportsmen on the market today. This is an excellent scope from their crossfire two lineups that is purpose made for long-range hunting and target shooting, while still providing outstanding value.
This scope is built around a massive 50 mm objective lens and features fully multicoated lenses and a full 6-24x power magnification range. For long-range shooting, it doesn’t get any simpler and more reliable than this scope. It is an excellent balance of features durability and price that almost every sportsman can afford. The only downside to this scope is that it can be a bit bulky and heavy on some of the more lightweight rifles out there.
This scope is exceptionally durable, like all Vortex products, and carries with it one of the absolute best warranties in the business. And is also backed up by some of the industry leaders and customer service. As if you need an even bigger reason to buy the scope.
5. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 6-24x50 Scope
Bushnell is a leader and making low costs highly effective optics. They have rifle scopes that can be found from elite military units all the way down to the shelves of Walmart. They are loved for the quality they put out at an excellent price. This is no different, a purpose made a scope for long-range hunting shooting that comes in at an awesome price.
You simply can’t beat this scope in terms of price and purpose made the design. A massive 50 mm objective Bell tops out at 24x power magnification, that works with a dry nitrogen purged double O-ring sealed fully multicoated lens system to bring the target right into your lap.
Bushnell should get a lot of credit for this rifle scope. It is loved for the fact that it includes every feature and rugged design quality that you need to shoot at long-range but it’s cost-effective so that you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. For many hunters. The scope is cheap enough that they can rely on it without worry of complications much more than they can on similar price scopes.
It is heavier than its competition. Other than that, you won’t find anything wrong with this scope it has decent optical quality excellent features and is a well-balanced design for long-range shooting out to 1000 yards. It certainly has the brightness of magnification to get the job done!
Ruggedness & Objective Bells
Large objective bells mean better low light performance and a wider field-of-view at long-range, wider objective bells also mean a bigger target to ding and bump against obstacles in the field, and on the range. Make sure you’re being careful around these piece of equipment.
They may be guaranteed rugged and warranty deed against problems, but that doesn’t mean you want to have to recite your rifle every time you go to the range. Being a little cautious about how you transport and handle your gun can go a long way to making sure you don’t move a mount or crack the exterior of an objective Bell.
Not to mention, the fact that you have to protect the objective bell and eyepiece from scratches. The longer the objective bell the larger the chance and size of debris can get in there and cause damage. Many optics are not warrantied against scratches on the glass services.
Make sure you are protecting your scopes critical areas whenever you are using them in the field. The most common place to damage a rifle scope, however, is in transit. Make sure you are using a proper scope cover or a heavy-duty case to cradle the optic in making sure it doesn’t get bombed and knocked off zero or destroyed while you are moving it around.
Shooting at 1000 yards can be difficult in easy situations, and impossible and difficult situations. Having the right equipment makes all the difference and brings the target figuratively closer to you why you're shooting. Decide how much you can spend on an optic, choose the best one for your shooting style and how often you’ll be shooting, and get to a range where you can pace out 10 football fields for a target.
Having the best scope for 1000 yard stare might be one of the most important pieces of your equipment for long-range rifle shooting. Get your hands on the best one you can afford, and start lobbing rounds down range!