When purchasing a scope, one critical thing you need to consider is how far you would be shooting. Whether you are a competitive shooter or a hunter, your shooting range would determine the kind of rifle you would need to use, the cartridge that it uses, and the type of scope to mount on the rifle. However, after you have narrowed down your preferred range, your work isn’t done.
There are still several questions you must address when choosing a scope for your rifle, and the sheer number of options available might be bewildering. That is why we decided to do the work for you and identified some of the finest riflescopes you can use for target shooting at a range of 500 yards.
Continue reading, and you will find the ideal scope in a short while.
Here are our top picks for 500 yards shooting
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44
- Primary-Arms 4-16×44 Scope
- Athlon Optics 6-18×44 Scope
- Leupold VX 5HD Scope 3-15x56mm
- Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Scope
- Burris Fullfield II 4.5-14x – 42mm
- Bushnell AR 4.5-18x40mm Scope
- Things We Checked Before Scope Selection
- 500 Yards Scope Buying Guide
- Best Scope For 500 yards
Things We Checked Before Scope Selection
A Long-range shooting needs all the relevant characteristics it can get to ensure that you hit your target on the spot. We examine the objective lens’s quality to see if it can produce clear and sharp images. We also examined modification and coverage, which would imply significant eye relief and precise magnification adjustments. We also looked at the whole features, not just specific aspects, because one performance is tied to the other.
Compatibility of Weapons
All of the remarkable features will be rendered ineffective if the scope is incompatible with the mount or the weapon. Some scopes may have amazing characteristics but fall short in terms of compatibility. It ends up unfastened on the mount, which has a significant impact on accuracy. We also consider how easy it is to mount various scopes on a rifle because some scopes are highly difficult and require additional tools.
We also looked at reliability after we verified that all functionalities are performing to their full capacity. We are certain that the greatest scope brand is constant in terms of quality and features. We compared views by looking at some legitimate consumer reviews and comments.
500 Yards Scope Buying Guide
When trying to identify your rifle sight, you must answer a plethora of questions. It might be a bit intimidating if you do not even understand what you are looking at. That is why we’ve broken down some of the most critical things to look for in a good rifle sight.
What Magnification Is Required for 500 Yards?
The answer to this question comes down to the shooter’s personal choice, but if you want to shoot targets that are 500 yards away, we’d recommend a scope with a minimum of 10x magnification. If your target is a little further away, you may want a little more magnification.
That is why, if you are going to be shooting around 500 yards, we recommend scopes with a 12x magnification. However, if you want to shoot shorter-range targets more often, you need to ensure that your scope has a low magnification setting as well. Many scopes have magnification settings ranging from 4x – 12x, making them incredibly flexible.
A 3x – 9x magnification range is another common choice. While this is okay if the greatest range you want to fire at is 500 yards, attempting to strike anything further is likely to cause complications.
Is more magnification always preferable?
More magnification is required while shooting long-range targets. For example, if you fire a 500 yards target with 10x magnification, it will appear to be just 50 yards distant when viewed through the scope.
This will make it considerably simpler to see and hence much clearer to aim. However, there is such a thing as excessive magnification. If you want to use a 25x magnification scope for a target that is 500 yards distant. The target will only appear to be 20 yards away. While this may appear to be a beneficial thing, it will make adjustment harder. Furthermore, even the tiniest movement of your gun will cause the target to fluctuate drastically, making aiming difficult.
The distance you must maintain your eye on a scope to achieve a good view is referred to as eye relief. The greater the distance, the greater the amount of eye relief, and the easier you can use your rifle.
Eye relief of about 4 inches is recommended for scopes. This provides you with two major benefits. For starters, you won’t have to worry about the rifle moving back and hitting your eye with your sight. While you should still practice good shooting tactics, having a bit more eye relief allows you a little more liberty. Second, it increases your shooting position adaptability. It’s simpler to fire from varied postures.
This is especially significant when shooting at distance targets, of which 500 yards count. That’s because you’ll want to obtain as much steadiness as possible, and getting into a prone or aided shooting posture is a perfect method to achieve just that. However, these provide additional reliability, and access to your scope may be a price. This issue is exacerbated if you have a scope with little eye relief.
How Important Is Brightness?
It is entirely dependent on when you are shooting. You don’t need an illuminated reticle or any other fancy features that allows extra light if you are shooting during the day.
However, whether you’re shooting in low lit or at dawn or twilight, brightness is everything. Hitting targets at 500 yards is challenging enough, and you must do everything correctly to get a chance. However, too much light can also be an issue.
That is why many scopes come with a variety of lighting settings to select from. Too much brightness causes everything to become blurry, preventing you from making the required changes to complete your shot.
While you may see well through the scope, seeing the reticle and the dots connected with it is also important for hitting your target at 500 yards. If you have a sight that can allow you to modify the brightness of the reticle easily, then it is a great scope.
First vs. Second Focal Plane
You’re going to hear a lot about the focal plane while choosing a scope, and if you don’t understand what it is, you will not likely comprehend how important it is. No matter what magnification you choose, the reticle dots on an FFP scope are the same distance apart.
This is a very simple technique to shoot, making it a good alternative for novices and individuals who frequently change their shooting distance. The size of the dots on a reticle of a second focal plane scope remains constant. They are full-sized after you reach maximum magnification. This is great for someone who is constantly shooting long-range targets. If you’re attempting to reliably shoot targets at 500 yards out with a 3x – 9x magnification, an SFP design is ideal.
While both styles have advantages and disadvantages, it still comes down to personal choice. We recommend that you sample both styles before making any purchase to have a better sense of what would work for you.
Best Scope For 500 yards
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44
When you want to go hunting or for any kind of shooting, you want to ensure you have the best rifle scope on hand. Vortex Optics is a well-known scope manufacturer that produces some of the best optics you can find on the market. We cannot talk about the best scope for 500 yards without making mention of the vortex scope. And it’s now more interesting to have a vortex scope at the top of our list.
The Vortex Crossfire II scope is an excellent scope for shooting at the 500 yards range. The scope has a variable magnification power of 6-18. The higher magnification is 18x, which is sufficient for shooting at a 500-yard target, making it an excellent long range shooting scope. And the low magnification is 6x. This Vortex scope includes a rapid focus eyepiece, capped turrets that protects the adjustment knobs throughout your shooting sessions, and it is nitrogen purged to give the shooter a clear view of the target in any weather condition.
The Vortex Crossfire II scope comes with a dead-hold BDC reticle, the V-brite, and the V-plex. The V-brite reticle is similar to the V-plex, but it has illuminated dots in the center. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle on the scope has a duplex and dots to compensate for bullet drop.
The Vortex Crossfire II scope has a comfortable Eye relief of about 3.7 inches, so even at high magnification, the eye strain from the scope should be minimal. This optics also has an adjustable objective lens that is used to correct parallax.
Vortex Optics offers a VIP warranty on all of its scopes, which is one of the finest in the business. The rapid focus eyepiece of the Crossfire II allows you to shoot those 500-yard targets swiftly and easily without missing your target. Zeroing with this scope is pretty easy.
The Vortex optics series of scope is a household brand, and they offer a wide variety of configurations, each with a distinct objective lens and magnification range. First-time scope users are regularly shocked at how good the scope is in varied light circumstances, as well as how clear they can see at the higher magnification. The objective lens is one of the features that makes it easy to get enough light transmission for a clear and bright image.
This Vortex scope is a great scope for 500 shooting, and it is highly recommended.
2. Primary Arms 4-16x44mm Scope
Another good optic we can quickly consider for the best scope for 500 yards shooting is the Primary Arms. Although, many hunters and competitive shooters are not familiar with this brand, especially newbies. If you have been in the optical industry for a while, you must have come across some Primary Arms scopes. This Primary Arms 4-16×44 scope is a great riflescope for 500 yards, and with this scope, you are sure of getting value for your money. The scope has a variable magnification of 4-16x. The higher magnification is 16x, which can handle all mid-range shots and most long range shooting. It has a low magnification of 4x is a good starting point for this shooting range; anything less than that would not be useful for 500 yards shooting.
With this Primary Arms scope, you are sure of getting at least 3.5 inches of eye relief when shooting with the scope. The scope also comes with an illuminated reticle that makes shooting in low-light circumstances very easy. In bad weather, the lighted reticle can assist minimize eye strain and maintain your eyes on the spot you want to shoot your target.
This scope is one of the most economical on this list, yet it still gives you the ability to shoot at varied ranges with the tactical turrets it features and a high-resolution image. This is an excellent scope for those who are new to long-range shooting. This 16x scope provides excellent value for money and will get any shooter started on the journey to expertise.
This Primary Arms scope will aid in target acquisition whether you are shooting at a moving target or competition targets that are still. Light transmission is strong here since the lenses come fully multi-coated; however, the low dispersion glass on the scope is not as excellent as that of other scopes.
To assist you to acquire the appropriate amount of elevation, you have a nice Mil-Dot reticle to do the job. The scope also has 12 brightness levels that make your shooting more comfortable at different light settings. It’s a good scope with good performance, and it comes at a modest price. Most competitive shooters like the scope, but professionals will rather choose a riflescope of even higher quality.
If you have a limited budget, this scope can save you the thought of considering breaking your bank. This Primary Arms optics is a great scope for any kind of mid-range or long range shooting, especially one close to 500 yards.
3. Athlon Optics 6-18×44 Scope
With a baseline magnification power of 6x, this Athlon Optics is not a good scope for close-range shooting, but since we’re searching for the best scope for 500 yards, that should not be a big deal.
This is a nice scope to go to the range with; you can modify the side parallax for easily taking quick shots. At 100 yards, the field of vision of this scope is between 5.9 and 17.5 feet. It has an elevation and windage turret of .25 MOA, which aids your 500 yards shooting. The turret system has been capped. The Athlon is available with either a BDC reticle for estimating holdover or a more typical duplex reticle. The scope is designed to be fog-proof, and it can tolerate inclement weather.
When using this scope, you should not expect to achieve the same excellent performance in close ranges. This 18x magnification scope has characteristics that will provide you with excellent clarity and high performance on the field for long range scenarios. The more of an experienced shooter you are, the better you will be at adjusting for windage and shooting with precision. This Athlon scope is a fantastic scope to begin your trip with.
It is not as pricey as some other scopes, and it misses a number of the features that could have made it a perfect scope, but it has a robust aluminum build and will work well even when correcting for elevation and windage.
The Athlon Optics is a handy tool that you can count on for your 500 yards shooting.
4. Leupold VX 5HD Scope 3-15x56mm
Many professionals and competitive shooters choose the Leupold VX scope for their 500 yards shooting, and this is for good reason. Even though Leupold does not have a Twilight Max Light Management System, which may offer you an additional 30 minutes of shooting visibility in dawn or twilight lighting situations. The objective lens diameter is 56mm large, which would make it brilliant and clear in a low light condition.
The VX 5HD is a scope created by Leupold for unrivaled glass quality, HD resolution, and excellent precision in a variety of scenarios. This scope is anti-reflective and multi-coated, so it won’t shine and reveal your location when you should be concealed.
The quality glass of the Leupold scope is difficult to surpass for both hunters and competition shooters. This is an excellent scope that serves as a model for others. It gets all the fundamental features, such as being fog-proof and having several reticle settings to help with holdover calculations, and the brightness is excellent at any time of the day. The scope has an eye relief of 3.7 inches, and the field of view at 100 yards ranges from 38.3 feet to 7.7 feet.
5. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Scope
While the Vortex Crossfire II takes the top spot on our list of the best scope for 500 yards shooting, the Strike Eagle cope comes in next among the Vortex series of scopes. The only reason we moved it down the list is that it has a much higher price tag.
Although you will receive additional features for your money’s worth, but they are not ones that everyone requires. For example, the 11 brightness settings are a great feature if you would be shooting in a low light condition, but they’re not always necessary. The scope runs on a CR2032 battery.
The Vortex Strike Eagle scope has a variable magnification range of 4-24x, which is good for the 500 yards range or other mid-long range shooting. The 50mm objective lens diameter also allows an enormous amount of light and makes light transmission easier. This fully multi-coated scope also produces a bright and clear image for shooters.
Furthermore, while the second focal plane layout is ideal for long-distance shooting, it can make hitting close range targets more difficult. You do, however, receive zero resets for elevation and windage adjustments, which is really a pleasant bonus. The Vortex Strike Eagle scope is a single piece built optics that has a 30mm main tube that is ruggedly designed to withstand impact and recoil. The scope is nitrogen-purged and o-ring sealed, making it fog proof and waterproof.
Of course, because it is a Vortex Optics, you’ll also get a lifetime guarantee, making this the only scope you need for your 500 yards shots.
6. Burris Fullfield II 4.5-14x – 42mm
Most individuals will find it simple to suggest the Burris Fullfield scope because it is a top choice for daily use when shooting at the 500 yards distance and beyond.
It is an incredibly easy-to-use scope and a good hunting scope for 500 yards you can get without spending a fortune. The Burris Fullfield scope is not as expensive as some of the scopes discussed above.
You’ll receive a sight that can provide long-range accuracy while being simple to use. It is a user-friendly scope with an excellent Ballistic Plex reticle. This reticle is located on the back focal plane and it is capable of adjusting for trajectory.
It’s a basic design, but it serves you well while shooting at 500 yards. The scope’s parallax adjustment provides for greater accuracy at greater distances, making it a powerful sight designed to make long-range shooting easier. If you are not used to shooting at distances of 500 yards or more, this is an excellent scope to acquire. It is simple to use and quite accurate.
The scope’s eye relief ranges from 3.1 to 3.8 inches. The range of field of view is between 7.5 and 22 feet at 100 yards. The main issue is that the glass may not be as clear as people would have wanted. If you want a very high-quality glass, you’ll have to spend a little extra money. The light transmission is adequate, but it isn’t the ideal optic for shooting in a low-light condition. This is also due in part to the 1-inch main tube and 42 mm objective lens diameter.
Nonetheless, this is a low-cost optic that is ideal for everyday usage. It’s simple to suggest as long as you recognize that the glass cannot compete with the quality of other costly scopes.
7. Bushnell AR 4.5-18x40mm Scope
The Bushnell Ar Optic is a second focal plane scope rather than a first focal plane. We all know that the best scopes for long range shooting are usually the First focal plane, but this scope managed to escape that bottleneck. It can shoot well at 500 yards. The scope has a maximum magnification of 18x, and it features a useful throw lever on the magnification ring.
There is a lot to fancy on this scope, and most of the features are geared mostly for hunters, although other shooters will enjoy it as well.
This Bushnell Ar Optic is nitrogen-purged and weatherproof. It has tactical elevation and windage turrets as well as an anti-reflective coating. The lens coating produces a high-definition image that allows you to take a 500-yard shot without stress. With a drop zone reticle, this sight will also allow you to fire accurately at various ranges.
The Bushnell features a parallax adjustment on the side. The scope’s objective lens is 40mm wide, which should provide enough light transmission. The lenses on the scope are completely multi-coated. You also have some reticle options to choose from, all of which are quite simple to use.
The Bushnell scope is an excellent choice for shooters and amateurs who want to master the basics of long range shooting. It is not so basic that you’ll quickly outgrow it, and it is not so pricey that you’ll have to make a big investment before you can get it.
Because of the vast range, you can use this scope for shots that are closer range than 500 yards if the long-distance shooting is not your thing.
Mike has been shooting, reloading, and bullet casting for over 40 years. He lives in rural Indiana where he has a backyard target range. Married for almost 40 years, Mike and his wife teach adult education in their home county and have four sons with their families, totaling 10 grandkids.