Optimizing Accuracy with Long-Range Optics

Make sure your riflescope is a perfect match for hunting those wide open expanses where coyotes like to roam.

Optimizing Accuracy with Long-Range Optics

Selecting the right optic for your long-range fur gun will optimize it's performance when it comes time to tug the trigger on a coyote that's standing in the next zip code. (Photo: Gordy Krahn)

Perhaps the most overlooked component of the rifle/ammo/optics trilogy is the latter. Riflemen often take so much pride in and put so much emphasis on selecting a predator gun and ammo that will reach out and touch their quarry at great distances that they fail to select the proper optic that will enhance the performance of that perfect combo. Modern guns — even budget models — and factory-spun ammo are capable of incredible accuracy and terminal performance. But if the optic that rides on top of that rifle and points the bullets in the right direction isn’t the proper fit for the rifle and hunting application all is for naught. 

If long-range shooting is your bag, and the terrain where you hunt calls for stretching the barrel of your favorite fur gun, your riflescope selection should reflect that possibility, and the bottom line is this: You can have a tack-driving rifle loaded with premium ammunition, but if the optic it wears isn’t up to task, you’ve handicapped yourself. Do some homework to make sure that the riflescope selection you make squeezes the best performance possible out of your treasured predator gun. Here are 16 examples to get you started.

Athlon Optics 6-24x50mm Helos BTR

Built on a one-piece aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum tube and featuring fully multi-coated optics, the Athlon Optics 6-24x50mm Helos BTR has everything shooters expect from a quality long-range riflescope — except a hefty price tag. A locking feature on the elevation and windage turrets allows the shooter to simply pull up the turrets to dial them in and push down to lock them in place. This first focal plane scope has an illuminated MOA reticle for greater visibility in low-light situations, etched on the glass to provide durability and much higher shock resistance to recoil. Its heat-treated one-piece tube gives it extra strength. It is argon purged with larger-sized molecules to provide better waterproofing and thermal stability. 

MSRP: $712.49

CONTACT: www.athlonoptics.com

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20X

ATN’s X-Sight 4K Pro 5-20X riflescope is an excellent solution for hunters who want to be able to shoot in any light condition day or night. It is equipped with a 4K Ultra-HD sensor with a dual-core processor that gives the shooter the ability to live stream via WiFi to a mobile device and record in the scope at the same time. With the X-Sight 4K Pro’s ATN ballistic calculator, the shooter can forget about charts and complex reticles. Just enter the environmental data, and all of the calculations will automatically be performed. The X-Sight 4K Pro mounts to any rifle using standard 30mm riflescope rings, and its internal lithium-ion battery provides 18+ hours of usage. 

MSRP: $799

CONTACT: www.atncorp.com


Burris XTR III 

Burris’ Xtreme Tactical III (XTR) riflescopes feature new reticle designs and enhanced field-of-view. Available in 3.3-18x50mm and 5.5-28x56mm models, they utilize a 34mm body tube for increased strength and extended adjustment range. Premium glass and a small eyepiece signature and large eye box provide an excellent field of view, a more profound depth of focus and outstanding light transmission. Four front focal plane reticle designs and matching reticle and knob units give shooters a variety of options. Dragon Scale knurling and large-diameter knobs provide a sure tactile surface for making quick adjustments in all weather conditions, even while wearing gloves. A locking diopter ring avoids accidental changes in diopter focus during rugged use. 

MSRP: $2,039/XTR III 3.3-18x50mm; $2,159/XTR III 5.5-30x56mm

CONTACT: www.burrisoptics.com


Bushnell 4.5-18x40mm AR Optics

The 4.5-18x40mm AR Optics riflescope features Bushnell’s new Windhold reticle with five included turrets to accommodate a variety of popular AR-platform calibers. The foundation for this scope is an aircraft aluminum 1-inch tube with large exposed Mil turrets. Shooters will love how fast magnification changes can be made with the included short- and long-throw levers. The riflescope includes one 6-Mil turret, one 6.5CM BDC turret, one .308 Win. BDC turret, one .224 Valkyrie BDC turret, one .223 Rem. BDC turret, Spudz cloth, Bushnell multi-tool, quick start guide and scope caps. 

MSRP: $219.99

CONTACT: www.bushnell.com


EOTech Vudu 5-25x50mm FFP

With an overall length of only 11.2 inches, the EOTech Vudu 5-25x50mm FFP is ideal for short-platform rifles — its 5-25X magnification range and a host of enhancements delivering optimum downrange performance. The Vudu’s elevation turret includes a push/pull locking system and EOTech’s EZ Chek zero stop that allows for quick adjustments and return to zero. Its compact profile leaves room on the rail to attach either a clip-on night vision or thermal device in front of the scope and still allows the user to make adjustments without leaving the eyepiece. The Vudu 5-25x50mm FFP’s lightweight and durable aluminum housing is coated with a flat black Type III hard-anodized finish and features a 34mm single-piece main tube.  

MSRP: $2,099

CONTACT: www.eotechinc.com


GPO Passion 6-24x50mm

The Passion 6-24x50mm premium 30mm riflescope from German Precision Optics utilizes a high 4X magnification range for effective long-range shooting and a large double HD objective lens for improved operation in low-light hunting environments. It features a second focal plane ballistic MOA reticle calibrated at 24X, an extreme 70 inches of vertical adjustment, GPObright lens coating technology, and comes with a certificate for a free customized Kenton Industries engraved turret. The Passion comes in a matte black finish, and eye relief is 3.94 inches. Overall length is 15.35 inches, weight is 27.16 ounces, and field of view at 100 yards is 16.9-4.5 feet. A free bubble level and sunshade extension are included.  

MSRP: $1,277.77

CONTACT: www.gpo-usa.com


Konus 7187 Empire 

A solid choice for performance-driven tactical and long-distance shooters, the 5-30x56mm 7187 Empire riflescope by Konus combines the advanced features and professional specifications serious marksmen demand from their optics. The Konus Empire riflescope features a durable 30mm tube, fully multi-coated optics, 6X zoom system, anti-canting bubble level, side knob parallax adjustment, dual-color illumination, glass-etched reticle, locking fast focus ocular and locking turrets (resettable to zero). It is waterproof and nitrogen filled, and a sunshade and flip-up lens covers are included — all at an attractive price. 

MSRP: $499

CONTACT: www.konususa.com


Legacy Sports Nikko Stirling 4-16x44mm Diamond FFP

The compact Nikko Stirling 4-16x44mm Diamond FFP riflescope from Legacy Sports features first focal plane optics, which means the image and reticle increase in the same proportion, allowing for shot corrections at any magnification with its corresponding 1/10 Mil click value. The Diamond’s rugged 30mm main body tube delivers the maximum range of adjustment, clarity and brightness for uncompromised performance and excellent field of view, even in low light. It features a glass-etched, illuminated skeleton HMD reticle and microlux ETE Gen. III glass coatings. It comes with a lifetime warranty and is waterproof, shockproof and nitrogen filled. 

MSRP: $459

CONTACT: www.legacysports.com   


Leupold Mark 5HD 7-35x56mm

Leupold has expanded its Mark 5HD riflescope family with the addition of models that feature a 7-35X magnification range. The Mark 5HD line has been crafted to redefine accuracy, precision and optical performance for long-range shooters — and do so in a package that embodies rugged reliability. The 7-35X models deliver those same traits, but with an enhanced magnification range. All models provide edge-to-edge clarity and extreme low-light performance. The Mark 5HD is designed with a 35mm main tube for increased adjustment travel and ships with a high-speed power selector ring featuring an optional low-profile throw lever. The heart of the Mark 5HD is in its ZeroLock adjustments, which provide precise, repeatable tracking with a dead-on return to zero.  

MSRP: $2,989.99

CONTACT: www.leupold.com


Lucid MLX 4.5-18x44mm

The Lucid MLX riflescope is precision built from the ground up to deliver a crystal clear 4.5-18X magnification range, built on a proven and easy to mount one-piece 30mm 6063 aluminum tube with nearly 6 inches of mounting length. The optical system is set on the front focal plane, keeping the MLX reticle measurement aspects precisely consistent throughout the entire magnification range. The MLX reticle is a highly useful Mil-based design with over 10 Mils of measurement in “holdover” and 5 Mils of “hold under” available on the highest magnification in the field of view. The glass and lens coatings have been specifically selected to offer an exceptionally high-resolution image through carefully balanced optical engineering. 

MSRP: 719.99

CONTACT: www.lucidoptics.com


Meopta USA Optika6 

Meopta’s newest line of premium riflescopes — the Optika6 — features a 30mm tube, 6X zoom, zero-reset turrets and advanced MeoBright lens coating that delivers edge-to-edge clarity and bright, sharp images. The series is available with numerous first and second focal plane reticle options in various magnification ranges, including the new DichroTech reticle, which features battery-free illumination in any light conditions. There is also a 34mm 5-30x56mm model with ED glass to eliminate chromatic aberration at high magnification. All Optika6 Shooting series riflescopes feature rubber-armored target turrets for a non-slip grip. Optika6 Shooting and Hunting scopes also come with illuminated reticle options and windage and elevation adjustments in either Mil or MOA.  

MSRP: $499-$899

CONTACT: www.meoptasportsoptics.com


Osprey Global Tactical 5-30x56mm

The 5-30x56mm Tactical riflescope from Osprey Global meets the needs of long-range shooters and hunters in extreme terrain and weather conditions. Top-tier Hoya glass and a pinpoint accuracy reticle make getting on target and making a good shot as easy as pulling the trigger. The Osprey Global 5-30x56mm riflescope — sporting a matte black finish — is fogproof, waterproof and shockproof and features an illuminated (red, green or blue) Mil-dot etched glass reticle. Dust covers and ring mounts are included, and an optional 4-inch 56mm sunshade is available. Osprey Global optics come with a lifetime warranty. 

MSRP: $579

CONTACT: www.ospreyscopes.com


Riton Optics X7 Conquer 4-32x56mm

The X7 Conquer 4-32x56mm riflescope is Riton’s top of the line optic, with enhanced features including a 34mm tube, advanced zero stop turrets and first focal plane illuminated Precision Shooting reticle. The X7 Conquer represents the company’s pinnacle of optical engineering, with an impressive feature set at a competitive price. Features include an integrated removable throw lever, 1/10 MRAD windage and elevation adjustments, six levels of illumination with on/off positions between each level and a fast-focus eyepiece. The X7 Conquer is 100 percent waterproof, fogproof and shockproof (tested up to 1,200 Gs) and made from aircraft-grade aluminum with a rugged design for the harshest environments.  

MSRP: $2,749.99

CONTACT: www.ritonoptics.com


Sightmark Latitude 6.25-25x56mm PRS 

The Latitude 6.25-25x56mm PRS riflescope by Sightmark was designed for long-range shooting when fast, repeatable and reliable target acquisition is a requisite for success. The Latitude delivers big with premium scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, fully multi-coated glass and a first focal plane red/green illuminated PRS Mil-dash reticle. Its 34mm hard-anodized, single-piece, 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum tube ensures durability and oversized, tactile, distinct-click turrets with .1 Mil adjustments and quick-set zero-stop ring, locking, fast-focus eyepiece and adjustable parallax make adjustments quick and easy. The Latitude is shockproof, IP67 waterproof rated, fogproof, dustproof and nitrogen purged for flawless, reliable performance in extreme environments. A sunshade, CR2032 battery, manual, lifetime warranty and lens covers are included.  

MSRP: $839.99

CONTACT: www.sightmark.com


Sig Sauer Electro-Optics 3-18x44mm Sierra 6 BDX 

The 3-18x44mm is one of three riflescopes in the Sig Sauers Electro-Optics’ new Sierra 6 BDX lineup. It features SmartBDX reticle technology with up to 95 percent light transition along with a KinETHIC kinetic energy transfer indicator and LevelPlex, an internal digital level that allows users to eliminate rifle cant. The BDX system combines traditional hunting equipment with technology for easy to use functionality to get hunters and shooters on target with unprecedented speed and accuracy. New features include nine pre-loaded, user-selectable ballistic drop compensation (BDC) reticles, eight ballistic groups pre-loaded in Kilo BDX rangefinders, and the QuickBOND feature that allows for quick bonding of BDX rangefinders and scopes without the use of a smartphone app. 

MSRP: $1,299.99

CONTACT: www.sigsauer.com


Vortex Optics Gen. II Viper PST 5-25x50mm FFP

Built on a 30mm anodized aircraft-grade aluminum tube, the Vortex Optics Gen. II Viper PST riflescope delivers the features serious tactical shooters demand, at a price that’s sure to please. Exposed laser-etched turrets provide easily read elevation and windage adjustment graduations, and its RZR zero stop feature ensures accurate returns to sight-in zero after dialing temporary elevation corrections. An illumination dial is integrated into the parallax/side focus adjustment knob for easy access. Optically, the Viper PST delivers a 5X zoom range and image quality. High-quality XD lens elements serve up incredible resolution and color fidelity, resulting in high definition images. XR fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission for increased brightness and ArmorTek protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt. 

MSRP: $1,299.99 CONTACT: www.vortexoptics.com


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