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What Power Scope For 1000 Yards Do You Need? 

Dakota Potts | Updated February 25, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
Cover photo of What Power Scope For 1000 Yards Do You Need showing a scope on top of a wooden block

In the world of long-range shooting, 1000 yards is often considered a significant benchmark. But to get the best accuracy, what power scope for 1000 yards should you get? If you don’t select the right scope with the right magnification, you’ll just be wasting bullets. 

Find out what power scope you need for 1000 yards and the best options you can get right now.

For more reading see our write up on the best 1000 yard scope money can buy.

Key Takeaways

  • Selecting the right scope with appropriate magnification is crucial for accurate 1000-yard shooting
  • Scopes with 20x to 25x magnification are commonly preferred for long-range precision
  • Consider factors like image clarity, durability, and eye relief when selecting a scope

What Magnification for Shooting at 1000 Yards is Needed?

Picking the right zoom level for your scope when you’re shooting at 1000 yards is very important if you want to nail your aim. The “just-right” magnification range depends on factors like how big your target is, what the shooting conditions are like, and of course, what you personally prefer.

Scopes that are made for shooting at 1000 yards usually have a lot of flexibility when it comes to magnification, so you can tweak it to suit different situations and distances. 

For most shooters, a scope with a magnification range of 18x to 21x is what you want for 1000 yards, especially for larger targets. Lower magnification settings (around 18x) can be helpful in mitigating the effects of mirage on the sight picture, which can become a problem at longer distances.

But if you’re trying to hit something small, you might need more magnification, like 20x to 24x, just to make sure you’re seeing it clearly and aiming right. A versatile power scope, like a 6-24x, works well here because it gives you a lot of flexibility with your zoom level for different distances and target sizes.

Choosing the right scope magnification for 1000 yards also depends on the rifle being used. For instance, a 1000 yard scope for a .308 rifle might need slightly different magnification settings than a scope designed for other calibers.

You know, I’ve carried a weapon for 10 years, never shot anybody, never robbed anybody. It has saved my life twice, but I know they’re not toys. I practice with firearms, I enjoy shooting, it’s a hobby of mine and I have a healthy respect for them.

Luke Scott

So, in a nutshell, selecting the right zoom for 1000-yard shots isn’t just about one thing. When you ask the question “How much magnification for 1000 yards is needed”, you also must take into account factors like target size, shooting conditions, and the kind of rifle you’re using. 

Generally, a magnification between 18x and 24x should do the trick. It’ll give you a clear view and let you adapt to different situations. 

Now, let’s look at the best 1000 yard scope for 308.

1000 Yard Scope for 308

308 Winchester is a really popular option you’d find for 1000-yard shooting. It’s reliable and packs a powerful performance at long distances. But to get the best out of it, you need the perfect scope. 

A standout choice? The Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1.

Image of Nightforce ATACR 5-25x56 F1 mounted on a rifle and a grassy view in the background

This scope is a real performer. It’s got a first focal plane reticle and a versatile 5x zoom. It also has an illuminated reticle etched onto the glass. 

The exit pupil goes from 2.3 to 11.2 mm, with a pretty hefty 56mm lens diameter. You’re looking at a field of view from 21.5 to 4.3 ft at 100 yards, and eye relief is a comfortable 3.5 to 4.3 inches.

Fun Fact

About 70% of the season harvest occurs in the first four days of the hunting season. Source: billhansenrealty.com

But that’s not all. It’s got a locking diopter, and it’s waterproof and fog proof to boot. The 34mm tube means it’s sturdy and durable. And the SCR reticle has a second rotation indicator for accurate shooting. So it’s no wonder it’s a favorite with competitive shooters and hunters.

Another noteworthy contender is the Burris XTR II 5-25×50. This scope features a compact design and calibrated turrets suitable for the 308 Winchester. It’s got an illuminated reticle for low-light shooting, and it’s both water and fog-proof for reliable shooting in any weather.

Image of a hand adjusting the knob of a Burris XTR II 5-25x50 scope mounted on a rifle

With a lightweight aluminum build, lockable and adjustable turrets, and a chevron central targeting for a smaller aiming point, the Burris XTR II stands strong as a go-to choice for many long-range enthusiasts.

Vortex 1000 Yard Scope

Vortex is a well-known brand for creating top-notch rifle scopes. There are a variety of Vortex scopes suitable for shooting at 1000 yards. Among these, the Vortex Viper HST 6-24x50mm riflescope stands out for its accuracy and performance.

“I belong to quite a lot of learned societies. We collect firearms and discuss them at dinners and clubs and things.”

Michael Gambon

The Viper HST is designed with long-range shooting in mind. It features a powerful magnification range of 6-24x, and a large 50mm objective lens, allowing for brighter images and easy target acquisition. Plus, the VMR-1 reticle with MOA adjustment provides precise elevation and windage corrections to help you achieve the accuracy you need.

Image of a Vortex Viper HST 6-24x50mm

Crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum, the Viper HST is durable and can withstand harsh conditions. It also has a weather-resistant construction and XR Fully Multi-Coated lenses. That means fog-free optics and improved light transmission with reduced glare.

The Vortex Viper HST offers the right balance of magnification, reticle design, and build quality to achieve that level of performance. If you’re looking for reliable, high-performance Vortex rifle scopes for long-range shooting, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Scope Magnification for 2000 Yards

Now, let’s go even further.

For 2000 yards, often scopes with 20 to 25x power work well in this range. One of the top picks is the Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1. It provides a high-quality magnification great for such distances.

Image of a hand adjusting the knob of a Nightforce ATACR 5-25x56 F1 scope

Long-range scope magnification, like 5-25x, is common among Precision Rifle Series (PRS) shooters. At 2000 yards, visibility and precision are crucial. That’s why the Sightron SIII 10-50×60 is another popular choice for competitive shooting, as it’s an extremely high magnification rifle scope that’ll give you extreme clarity at 2000 yards.

Image of a person holding the Sightron SIII 10-50x6 with both hands

For hunters, a scope like the Burris XTR II 5-25×50 is ideal. This scope offers the right balance of magnification and clarity. It’s essential to choose a scope with a multi-coated lens and good lighting conditions.

Product image of the Burris XTR II 5-25x50

Budget-conscious shooters can opt for the Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP. This high-quality, affordable scope offers suitable magnification for 2000-yard shots. At the end of the day, remember to prioritize features that match your shooting needs.

Image of a Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 FFP on top of a wooden table

Scope Magnification for 500 Yards

In order to achieve optimal performance when shooting at 500 yards, the ideal magnification you should choose is between 10x and 20x. This allows for precise shot placement and clear target identification at 500 yards and beyond.

One popular scope for 500-yard shooting is the Nikon Black FX1000. Its magnification range of 4-16x provides versatility for various shooting conditions. But another excellent option is the Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm, known for its exceptional image clarity and light transmission.

Image of a Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm mounted on top of a rifle with trees in the background

Regardless of the specific model chosen, it’s important to practice and familiarize yourself with the scope’s features to maximize its potential. That way, you get a consistently accurate shooting experience at 500 yards and beyond.

But also consider factors like image clarity, durability, and eye relief. It’s important to select a scope that offers optimal magnification for the distances you need while maintaining comfort and precision.

For more reading on scopes see our guide to what rifle scopes are made in the USA in 2024.


How far is a 10 power scope good for?

A 10 power scope is good for shooting up to as far as 500 yards, depending on the shooter’s personal preferences and the reticle design. Factors such as internal adjustment, tracking, and adjustable parallax also come into play when determining the effective range for a specific scope.

What magnification rifle scope for 1000 yards?

The magnification you need in your rifle scope for 1000 yard shots is around 20-25 power. Scopes such as the Nightforce ATACR 5-25×56 F1 and Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50 FFP are popular choices among experienced shooters.

What scope power is needed for 1000 yards?

The scope power you need for 1000 yards shooting is a magnification power of at least 20x, but some may prefer an even higher magnification for more clarity.

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