GEAR ROUNDUP — Long-Range Riflescopes

It doesn’t make sense to invest a bunch of money in a predator rifle capable of punching minute-of-angle groups and then equip it with substandard glass that inhibits that capability.

GEAR ROUNDUP — Long-Range Riflescopes

There are factors to consider when purchasing a scope: the type of firearm on which it will sit, the critters you will be hunting and the type of terrain in which you will be hunting. When hunting Big Sky country, it’s important to employ a riflescope with the power and clarity to reach out to the neighboring zip code and guide your bullet to the promised land. Only when a rifle’s optics are of optimum quality and the hunter’s trigger tug is true will it be possible to squeeze every bit of accuracy from a tack-driving fur gun. There are several characteristics that define a proper long-range riflescope: substantial magnification range, durable construction, large objective lens, high-quality glass and such. So, if it’s time to top your fur gun with a new riflescope, carefully consider those qualities that make sense for the types of long-range hunting you do before laying down your hard-earn Benjamins. Here are some top-shelf options you might want to consider.  


Athlon Optics Ares ETR 4.5-30x56mm

The Athlon Optics Ares ETR 4.5-30x56mm first focal plane riflescope is loaded with features that will accommodate a variety of shooting disciplines. A locking windage turret eliminates concerns of inadvertent adjustments in the field and its true precision zero stop provides a hard, repeatable return to zero, ensuring shots are on target every time. Extra Low Dispersion glass significantly reduces chromatic aberration, giving shooters a bright and sharp image with true color reproduction. The Ares ETR is waterproof, fogproof, shockproof and argon purged, built with a rugged 34mm one-piece tube, offering 110 MOA of total elevation adjustment. A high precision erector system and stainless-steel turret design provide consistent and repeatable adjustments from top to bottom. MSRP: $1,249.99.


Axeon 6-24x50mm SF

Technology meets affordability in the Axeon 6-24x50mm SF Long Distance riflescope, with tough, reliable features built-in. Its exposed turrets are practically unheard of at this price point, while its precision optical light-gathering system delivers sharp image quality even at longer range. The Axeon 6-24x50mm SF features 6-24X magnification and passes a generous amount of light through its 50mm fully multicoated objective lens, and quick adjustments are easy to make via the scope’s tactical windage and elevation turrets. It has an aircraft grade aluminum body and a fast focus adjustment knob and is also equipped with a .5 mil-dot reticle for fast shot adjustment, 3.5 inches of eye relief and side parallax adjustment. MSRP: $299.99.


Black Diamond Optics UL-12

Built on a 1-inch tube, the UL-12 4-12x40mm riflescope from Black Diamond is an ultra-light one-piece design made from aircraft quality aluminum, ensuring years of dependability under magnum recoil. It features high-definition glass with fully multicoated lenses, 4-12 power magnification and is 100 percent waterproof, dustproof, shockproof and fogproof to provide clarity and reliability when needed. It has adjustable .25-inch MOA turrets, 30 MOA of elevation and windage adjustment and a parallax setting of 100 yards. The UL-12 weighs 15 ounces and comes with a matte black anodized finish. MSRP: $249.


Bushnell 4-16x50mm Elite 4500 4X

When the job needs generous magnification, the 4-16x50mm Elite 4500 4X from Bushnell is up to the task. With extended eye relief, a large 50mm objective lens and precision side focus parallax adjustment, it is just the ticket for big-game, varmint and predator hunting. Build rugged from aircraft aluminum, the Elite 4500 is designed with extended eye relief, and ultra-wide band coatings increase dusk and dawn light waves while reducing unwanted glare that can cause missed shots. It is built to withstand the elements and stay in the hunt — IPX7 waterproof rated and featuring Bushnell’s Exclusive EXO barrier protection. Other features include capped windage and elevation adjustments, fast-focus eyepiece and a Multi-X reticle. MSRP: $294.99.


German Precision Optics 4.5-27x50i GPOTAC

German Precision Optics (GPO) entered the high magnification first focal plane riflescope market with its premium tactical GPOTAC 4.5-27x50i FFP, featuring a 50mm double HD objective lens system for enhanced resolution coupled with GPObright high transmission lens coatings. Its 34mm main tube maximizes optical performance while supporting incremental elevation adjustment capabilities. It is crafted from a solid, one-piece, dustproof, waterproof, nitrogen-filled body for strength and durability. An illuminated mil-spec LRpro magnifying reticle powered by the GPO iCONTROL illumination system assists the shooter in even the lowest light conditions. Custom designed turrets are mil-based and include a zero-stop feature. It comes with a throw lever, cleaning cloth, see-through bikini ocular, objective lens scope covers and an extra CR2032 battery. MSRP: $1,579.99.


Hawke Optics Frontier FFP 5-30x56mm

The Frontier FFP (first focal plane) 5-30x56mm riflescope is part of Hawke Optics’ System H7 series, which uses index matched lenses with outstanding clarity throughout the entire field of view. The glass surfaces in System H7 scopes have 21 layers of advanced coatings producing extremely high light transmission and a clearer field of view. The Frontier FFP is available with two FFP illuminated reticle options — Mil Pro Ext and MOA Pro Ext — each calibrated to the scope’s magnification and specifically designed for extreme long-range shooting. The Frontier 5-30x56mm has 11 brightness levels to match any lighting condition. Built on a 34mm mono-tube chassis that is machined from high-grade aluminum, it has side focus adjustment and resettable Zero, Lock and Stop turrets. MSRP: $1,399.


Leapers Integrix iX8 1-8x28mm FFP

German and Japanese glass lenses used exclusively in every Integrix optic are individually centration tested, multicoated for glare, reflection and scratch resistance and upon assembly are inspected for concentricity. The result is low aberration optimized image quality with over 92 percent light transmittance. At 1X, a quick-to-acquire T-Dot enclosed within a 68 MOA segmented circle makes close-up work quick and to the point, functioning similarly to a dot sight. At higher magnifications the reticle opens to provide users with a crisp 1 MOA center dot, range estimation out to 600 yards and hash marks up to 60 MOA vertically for holdover and 30 MOA horizontally left and right in 2 MOA increments. MSRP: $1,499.99.


Leupold VX-6HD 4-24x52mm

Leupold’s VX-6HD 4-24x52mm CDS-ZL2 riflescope is built around the optics maker’s Professional Grade Optical System, designed to perform in the most challenging lighting conditions. Its glare reduction provides a clear image in harsh, direct light, while the resolution and clarity will meet the demands of serious predator hunters. A wide zoom range combined with an in-scope electronic reticle level, CDS-ZL2 ZeroLock elevation dial and removable throw lever, make the VX-6HD the most versatile Leupold riflescope ever made. The VX-6HD is built on a 34mm main tube and is 100 percent waterproof and fogproof. And like all Leupold riflescopes, it’s designed, machined and assembled in the USA and guaranteed for life. MSRP: $2,099.99.


Meopta USA Optika6

Meopta’s Optika6 line of premium riflescopes 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. RETAIL: $499-$899.


Sightmark Presidio 3-18x50mm CR1

Offering a wide magnification range for close- to long-range hunting, the Presidio 3-18x50mm riflescope from Sightmark combines elite performance with a sleek, stealthy appearance. Its first focal plane reticle is calibrated for a maximum caliber of .338, with red reticle illumination for low-light shooting. The Presidio has fully multicoated optics and its capped, low-profile turrets produce clear, audible clicks. With built-in zero stops and a single piece 30mm tube and aircraft grade aluminum construction, the Presidio is extremely accurate and durable. IP67 waterproof and dustproof, the Presidio is ideal for a variety of firearms, including ARs and bolt-action rifles. It includes flip-up lens caps, a handy throw lever and one CR2032 battery. MSRP: $399.97.


Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22x50mm FFP

The Razor HD LHT 4.5-22x50mm FFP from Vortex answers every demand of the long-range hunter with a riflescope that’s among the lightest in its class. Users still get the HD optical system and rugged build that made the Razor HD LHT such a hit. Where the Razor HD LHT 4.5-22x50mm FFP distances itself is in not just adding a first focal plane reticle, but also getting the most out of it by incorporating the XLR-2 reticle system, which is intuitive and easy to use. The Razor HD LHT 4.5-22x50mm FFP also features a locking elevation turret with a RevStop zero system for a reliable return to zero. MSRP: $1,999.99.


Zeiss LRP S5 3.6-18x50mm

The Zeiss LRP S5 3.6-18x50mm first focal plane riflescope features a sturdy 34mm main tube and provides a massive amount of total elevation travel, which is extremely beneficial for long-range hunting. Its 50mm objective lens yields a more compact scope and allows for mounting it on smaller rifle platforms, making it a preferred choice on long-range hunting rifles that call for a more compact optic with excellent performance characteristics. This model is available in both milliradian and minute-of-angle configurations. With an extremely wide field-of-view, the Zeiss LRP S5 is a great choice for long-range varmint, predator and big-game hunting. MSRP: $3,299.99.


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