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One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself when buying a scope is how far away the target will be. But once you’ve narrowed down your desired range, your job is not done yet.
There are still countless questions you need to answer when selecting a rifle scope, and it can all be a little overwhelming with so many choices out there.
That’s why we did the hard work for you and tracked down the eight best rifle scopes for you to use when you’re shooting targets 500 yards out.
Just keep reading, and you’ll have the perfect scope for your rifle in no time.
|Best Overall||Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescopes||
|Best Value||CenterPoint Optics LR416AORG2||
|Premium Choice||Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Riflescopes||
|Bushnell Optics Drop Zone Reticle Riflescope||
|Nikon BDC600 P-Tactical Riflescope||
There are few optics manufacturers out there that can compete with Vortex Optics. Not only do they produce top-notch scopes with a lifetime warranty, but they manage to do it with an affordable price tag.
When it comes to affordable scopes that deliver fantastic performance, the Crossfire II Riflescope leads the way. They have two different magnification size ranges to choose from – and both of them are great for 500 yards.
Moreover, they have an illuminated reticle that’s ideal for low-light conditions, gives you crystal clear clarity, and provides incredible eye relief. While there are tons of things to love about this top-notch rifle scope, keep in mind that it is a little on the heavier side weighing in at 1.5 pounds. Overall, this is the best rifle scope for 500 yards that is on the market today.
If you’re looking for the best rifle scope to shoot targets at 500 yards for the money, this scope by CenterPoint Optics is it. The scope itself is extremely affordable, but it still has the ability to let you shoot targets at 500 yards with ease.
The maximum magnification on this scope is 16x, but you do lose some clarity at higher magnifications. Still, you get more than enough at 10x magnification, which is what we recommend for 500 yards.
From there, you get an illuminated reticle for low light conditions and a fast-focus eyepiece. While this is a tremendous low-priced scope, it’s still low-priced for a reason.
The eye relief is a bit harsh and has less than perfect clarity. Those clarity issues only get worse at higher magnifications. But if you’re on a tight budget, this a great scope for your rifle.
While the Vortex Optics Crossfire II earns our top pick, their Strike Eagle Riflescope was a close second. The only thing that pushed it farther down our list was the far more expensive price tag.
While you do get more features for the extra money you’re spending, they’re not features that everyone needs. For instance, the 11 different brightness levels are a fantastic feature if you’re going to be shooting in low-light conditions, but you often don’t need them.
Moreover, the second focal plane setup is excellent for distance shooting, but it can make it a bit harder to hit targets at close range. However, you do get zero stop resets for the windage and elevation adjustments, which is a really nice perk.
Of course, it’s still a Vortex Optics rifle scope, so you’ll get a lifetime warranty too, making this the last rifle scope that you’ll ever need to buy.
There are few things wrong with this rifle scope by Bushnell optics, and if you’re looking for a scope to shoot a target at 100 yards, this is a great choice. The problem is that for 500 yards, the maximum x4 magnification level simply isn’t powerful enough except for the most skilled sharpshooters.
While it might be impressive to hit a target at 500 yards with x4 magnification, it’s simply not worth the challenge for most applications. However, this is an excellent low-powered scope. For starters, it has phenomenal eye relief and is lightweight at only 1-pound.
Finally, the fast focus eyepiece allows you to change through its limited magnification settings with ease. It’s not a bad scope, but it’s not what you want for shooting targets 500 yards away.
There are plenty of things to love about the Nikon P-Tactical Riflescope line. For starters, they provide spring-loaded instant reset turrets, which is phenomenal for when you need to make quick adjustments between shots.
Moreover, these Nikon scopes provide phenomenal eye relief and offer extremely bright optics that helps when you’re shooting in low-light conditions. But while these are great scopes, they aren’t perfect.
First, their maximum magnification is 9x. While you can use this to shoot targets 500 yards away, we’d prefer something a little more powerful, and you’re at the far end of your range.
Moreover, this Nikon scope is a little expensive for what you get. It’s not that it’s a bad scope – it’s just on the pricier side for this range of rifle scope.
The Monstrum AO Rifle Scope is an affordable scope that provides a wide range of features. The magnification range starts at 3x but goes all the way up to 12x at maximum power for distance targets. This is more than enough power to shoot a target 500 yards away.
Additionally, the windage and elevation adjustments are easy to make, and the design brings in extra light during dawn and dusk. There are five different brightness levels to choose from, which makes seeing the reticle easier than ever.
But this Monstrum rifle scope dropped down our list for a reason. First, it offers limited clarity and eye relief. It’s simply not a fun scope to use if you’ll be shooting for a while. More importantly, the illumination can create a glare under certain conditions.
This really is a fatal flaw for this scope. While it excels in low light conditions, all it takes is one moment of glare to miss your target.
If your shooting distant targets, the Monstrum Alpha Series FFP Rifle Scope provides plenty of power to get the job done. With a maximum 24x magnification, if you miss your target, it’s not going to be because you couldn’t see it.
Moreover, it utilizes a single focal plane design that makes it easier than ever to use. Finally, with outstanding clarity and eye relief, it’s a joy to shoot. But it is a heavy scope weighing in at 1.8-pounds. But that’s not why it’s this far down our list.
That’s because it really only works with lower-caliber weapons. Larger caliber weapons cause it to lose center, which means you’ll be adjusting after every single shot. That’s a huge headache you’re not going to want to deal with.
While the Burris Fullfield E1 made our top eight, it was a narrow addition. While it offers excellent clarity and a low-price tag, it’s a barebones rifle scope if we’ve ever seen one. This scope doesn’t provide an illuminated reticle, and the maximum magnification of 9x is barely powerful enough to get the job done at 500 yards.
However, with a second focal plane design, it’s primed for use at 9x magnification, which is how it edged its way onto our list. For the price point, you could do much worse than the Burris Fullfield E1 rifle scope.
When you’re narrowing down your rifle scope, you need to answer tons of questions. If you don’t know what you’re looking at, it can all get a little overwhelming. That’s why we took the time to breakdown a few of the most important features you need to look for in a rifle scope.
A lot of this comes down to personal preference, but we recommend a rifle scope with at least 10x magnification if you’re shooting targets 500 yards away. Keep in mind that you might want a little extra power if the target could be a little further away.
That’s why we prefer rifle scopes with at least 12x magnification if you’re going to be shooting targets around 500 yards.
However, you’re going to want to make sure that your rifle scope has lower magnification settings too if you plan on shooting shorter range targets from time to time. Many scopes offer 4x to 12x magnification settings, and this makes an extremely versatile rifle scope.
However, another popular option is a 3x to 9x magnification. While this is acceptable if 500 yards is the maximum range you’re looking to shoot at, if you’re trying to hit anything further away, you’re likely to run into problems.
When you’re shooting distance targets you need magnification. For instance, if you’re shooting a target 500 yards away with 10x magnification, it’s going to look like it’s only 50-yards away when you look through the scope.
This is going to make it much easier to see and thus make it much easier to aim. But too much magnification is a thing. Imagine if you’re using a 25x magnification on a target that’s 500 yards away. The target is only going to look like it’s 20-yards away.
While that might seem like it’s a good thing, it’s going to make it difficult to make accurate adjustments. Additionally, even the slightest movement of your rifle will make the target move dramatically, which can be a huge hindrance to aiming.
Eye relief refers to the distance you need to keep your eye from the scope to get a clear image. The farther the distance, the more eye relief, and the easier it is to use the rifle.
But how much eye relief do you really need? For rifle scopes, you’re looking for at least 4-inches of eye relief. This gives you two main advantages. First, you don’t have to worry as much about your rifle flying back and having your scope smack you in the eye.
While you still need to practice proper shooting techniques, a little extra eye relief gives you a little extra leeway. Second, it gives you more versatility in your shooting positions. Since you don’t have to be “over” your rifle as much to line up your eye with the scope, it’s easier to shoot from different positions.
This is especially important when you’re shooting distance targets – and 500 yards count as a distance target. That’s because you’re going to want to get into a position to get as much stability as possible, and a great way to do that is to get into a prone or an assisted shooting position.
But while these give you more stability, the tradeoff can be access to your scope. This problem gets magnified if you have a rifle scope with sharp eye relief.
It really depends on when you’re shooting. If you’re shooting in the middle of the day in a well-lit area, you won’t need an illuminated reticle or any fancy features that bring in more light. However, if you’re in a dimly lit forest, or you’re out shooting at dawn or dusk, brightness makes all the difference.
Hitting a target at 500 yards is difficult enough, and you need to have everything right to give yourself a chance. But believe it or not, too much brightness can be a problem too.
That’s why so many rifle scopes have different illumination settings for you to choose from. Too much brightness leads to everything getting fuzzy, which means you won’t be able to make the necessary adjustments to make your shot.
While you might be able to see through your scope fine, if you can’t see the reticle and all the dots associated with it, it’s going to be next to impossible to hit your target – especially at 500 yards. Having a scope that allows you to adjust the reticle’s brightness is a great way to give yourself an edge.
When you’re looking at rifles, you’re likely to hear about the focal plane – and if you don’t know what that is, you’re not likely to understand how big of a deal it is.
A first focal plane rifle provides all the reticle dots the same distance apart no matter the magnification you’re using. This is an extremely straightforward way to shoot, and it makes it an excellent choice for beginners and those constantly changing their shooting distance.
A second focal plane rifle’s reticle dots don’t change in size. Instead, they look bigger as you increase the magnification. Once you get to maximum magnification, they are full-sized. This is ideal for someone that’s continuously shooting distance targets.
So, for a 3x to 9x magnification scope, a second focal plane design is excellent if you’re trying to shoot targets 500 yards away consistently.
While there are pros and cons to both designs, a lot of it comes down to personal preference. Before you make any purchases, we recommend you try both designs to get a better feel for what will work best for you.
While it can be daunting trying to find the perfect rifle scope the first time, when you do your research and break everything down one component at a time, it all gets a little easier. That’s why we took the time to highlight the best rifle scopes out there for shooting targets 500 yards away.
It’s the perfect distance for both hunters and target shooters alike. We hope this guide walked you through everything you needed to know and helped you pick out your next rifle scope. We’re confident that these scopes will turn your next outing into a success!
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Featured Image Credit: D_Van_Rensburg, Pixabay
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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