best 500 yard scope

Best 500 yard rifle scope – Updated 2022

Do you want to easily see and hit targets at 500 yards? Become a pro shooter with the best 500 yard rifle scope for you. Whether you're in the field or in the range, get the best results with your gear.

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If you are really passionate about hunting, then you certainly will be in need of some good equipment. If you are looking to buy a new, good scope for your rifle, then browsing through the best options in the market today will really help you get there.

There are so many different choices when it comes to rifle scopes, which say that they are the best one for the job. Being able to comb through them and choosing the ones that really can do the job right won’t be always easy.

Today we’ll be looking at the best 500-yard rifle scope alternatives. In this article, we will show you some of our recommended rifle scopes that you might consider buying if you have your eyes set on purchasing one. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have your mindset on what’s the best 500-yard rifle scope for you.

We will also take a look at some useful points about the things that you need to take into account when shopping and choosing your rifle scope. Do carry on and get all the information that you need so that you’ll buy the scope that fits you the best.

What do you have to consider for shooting out to 500 yards?

There are a few key things that you need to refer to when you’re shooting out to 500 yards. You will absolutely need to take them into account when buying your rifle scope.

First of all, you need to know that you’ll get a better image by buying a scope with greater glass quality. If you want a better image, and you do, then you’ll need to get a higher quality glass on your scope, compared with what you would need for a shorter distance scope.

As your bullet travels further, you need to be more careful about wind and elevation. You would need to choose and purchase a scope that has a larger range when it comes to windage and elevation. This is extremely important and something that should not be underestimated. It’s especially relevant if you haven’t done much shooting out to 500 yards, you want to make sure you do it the right way.

Light transmission is another important thing that needs to be taken into account. The scope that one uses while hunting will transmit light through several lenses, giving the hunter a certain amount of light and a visual image, perfected, for their shot. It is important to have a lens that changes, absorbs, and even reflects the correct amount of light, for the hunter, to see clearly and make an accurate shot.

Buying one of the top options for the best 500-yard rifle scope will leave you satisfied with the choice that you made. Yes, budget is important here too, but you need to look at it as a whole, spending a bit extra where it matters will make you a happy customer.

Another important thing that you need to look for is a good field of view. Field of view describes the size of the viewing area as you look into the eyepiece from the right to the left edges of the scopes field stop. It is described as either an angle in degrees or the number of feet or meters at a specific distance. At higher scope magnification, the field of view is smaller.  A larger field of view is best in situations where the objects are moving or you’re scouting a large area.

What magnification do I need for 500 yards?

We couldn’t really skip this part, as this is one of the most important things to take into account when you shoot at 500 yards. You need to be able to zoom in enough on your target, otherwise, you will not be able to take a good shot. The better the image that you’ll have of it, the more successful you’ll be out there. Good magnification capabilities are a must.

Minimum magnification for 500 yards

The least that you can cope with at 500 yards is 5x magnification. There is really no reason to buy anything that is not capable of doing that. Even so, 5x magnification is going to cover the bigger targets out there. You will probably need more if you’re shooting at a smaller game.

Maximum magnification for 500 yards

The majority of the opinions here are that you should go with up to 10x magnification for 500 yards, and this is what we’ll say too. Again, as for the minimum distance, that figure applies for a perfect conditions situation, where there is plenty of light and your target is fairly big.

Shooting at smaller targets will require higher magnification. Not having enough light will require higher magnification as well. Luckily, there are plenty of good alternatives out there, that can give you a wide range of adjustments depending on the situation that you find yourself in.

Buying a scope that has a minimum magnification of 3x or 4x should be your best bet here. Good scopes in this region will give you a maximum magnification of 14x or 16x, giving you the wide range of adjustments that you need for taking shots at 500 yards.

Bear in mind that at very high magnification levels, even the best quality long-range scope will have you dealing with mirages. Whether this is caused by a dirty scope, poor quality glass, or incorrect settings, you should be considering this too when choosing the best 500-yard rifle scope for you. Anything can be fixed here, apart from poor quality glass, you should avoid that.

What about lens size and coating?

Another point that should absolutely not be missed is the size of your objective lens and the length of the scope tube. The aim here is to bring in as much light as possible so that your image is as crisp as it could possibly be. The diameter of the lens determines how much light is delivered to your eye. A larger lens translates into greater detail and image clarity. This is especially useful in low light conditions such as dawn and dusk.

Light-gathering power can be calculated as the square of the objective’s diameter in millimeters. For example, doubling the diameter of the objective quadruples the light-gathering power.

Lens coating also helps with improving image quality. The main benefit of coating is that it repeals things like water and dirt, making your scope fog proof as well. Coating the lens reduces the glare and reduces the loss of light due to reflection.

Generally, more coatings leads to better light transmission and better contrast. The coatings are expensive and they greatly vary in type, number, and quality.

Here are some explanations of common terms used to quantify coating:

Coated: Has a single layer of coating on at least one lens surface.

Fully Coated: Has a single layer on all air to glass surfaces.

Multicoated: Has more than one layer of coating on at least one lens surface.

Fully Multicoated: Has multiple layers of coating on all air to glass surfaces.

What are the best scopes for 500 yard shooting?

We took a look into the market and compiled a list of 6 scopes that are excellent if you are shooting at 500 yards. Each option has its different perks, they are better in certain areas. Going through this list will make things clearer for you when it comes to choosing the best 500 yard rifle scope for you. All the information presented should make it very easy for you to pinpoint and choose the exact rifle that will help you strive to become an excellent 500 yard shooter.

Best 500 yard rifle scope – in-depth review and guide to order

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9×50

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Best 500 yard rifle scope –
budget friendly option

We start with a budget-friendly alternative here. If you don’t want to spend a big amount of money for a good quality scope, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x50is the best 500 yards rifle scope for you. If you’re looking for good, quality features at a good price, this scope won’t disappoint you.

The Vortex Optics Crossfire II offers you a wide range of different ranges and environments to use it in. It offers up many great features, even if you don’t pay a lot for it.

The V-Brite reticle uses the V-Plex format with battery-powered electronics to illuminate the center dot for hunters/shooters during extra-low light conditions. This is a feature that you normally find on way more expensive scopes and, not so long ago, was available only for professional use.

Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views so that you can zoom in and get target lock-on very quickly. The multiple lenses are O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, so the Crossfire II delivers waterproof and fog-proof performance. Needless to say, this will help you massively while hunting.

With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you’ll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing. Cutting down on time spent fixating your target is every hunters’ wish when it comes to the scope that he uses. Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in.

The scope is made of a single-piece tube constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum. This ensures strength and shockproof performance, so using it in harder and more demanding environments will not be an issue. The objective lens measures 50 mm. You should be able to acquire your target very quickly and this makes taking shots at a number of different ranges easier.

You can find the Vortex Optics Crossfire II in different specs, with different magnifications. We do recommend this one because of the extra features that it has as well as for the bigger objective lens. Whichever option you will choose, this will be something that you will enjoy using, as thousands of satisfied Vortex customers are doing. All in all, this is a very capable piece of gear and maybe the stopping point for your search for the best 500 yards rifle scope.

Burris Droptine Riflescope

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Best 500 yard rifle scope –
best choice for everyday use

If you are looking for a scope that is super easy to use, on a day-to-day basis, the Burris Droptine Riflescope is the best 500 yards rifle scope for you. Without compromising on good features and with a very reasonable price tag, this is a very good alternative for shooting at 500 yards. So, if simplicity is what you’re after, this will be a perfect alternative for you.

It’s a very versatile scope, which you can use in a variety of situations. You’ll find it very convenient to use while hunting in different environments and conditions. And it does all that without breaking the bank, in fact, this is not a much pricier option than the one above.

The Burris Droptine is made of high quality, precision-ground glass is multi-coated to offer superb low-light capability with glare resistance. This will help you in those low light conditions which are so problematic for everybody. It’s not the best option on the market if you look at this, but for what it asks for in terms of money, it’s a great option.

A simple, rugged reticle has holdovers for snapshots at extended ranges. Being able to precisely adjust your scope is key for a good hunt. Before going out hunting, we recommend testing your scope to several distances and memorizing the setups so, if needed, you can rapidly adjust it in the field.

The low-profile turrets are finger-adjustable and a separate eyepiece and power ring allow for flip-up lens caps. The eye relief on the riflescope is 3.1 to 3.8 inches (depending on your zoom setting). The adjustable parallax focus will help you when targets are further and further away.

Precision internal assemblies are double-spring tensioned for shock proofing, allowing Droptine to survive a lifetime of harsh field use. A waterproof, nitrogen-filled scope tube prevents internal fogging even in cold and rain. So this gets you covered even in the harshest of conditions.

In conclusion, the Burris Droptine Riflescope offers you a package that is very easy to use in almost any condition. And it does that for a very reasonable amount of money. It’s a perfect fit for someone who wants to learn as well as for a seasoned veteran. So, if you’re looking for a very easy-to-use rifle scope, the Burris Droptine Riflescope is the best 500 yards rifle scope for you.

Sniper KT 12-60X60 Scope

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Best 500 yard rifle scope –
best zooming capabilities

Next on the list is the Sniper KT 12-60X60. This is a scope that has extremely capable characteristics. It has a lot of premium features that you might find only on more expensive models. Oh yeah, and if what you’re looking for is insane zoom, the Sniper KT 12-60X60 is the best 500 yard scope for you. And probably a whole lot more than that. It goes up to 60x zoom while letting you distinguish your target clearly.

The parallax adjustment of this scope allows for improved accuracy at longer distances. This is a powerful scope that is designed to make taking long-distance shots simpler. Also, capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with 1/8 MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in. Most scopes in this price range deal in 1/4 MOA, so having the option of adjusting it in such detail will help you with your accuracy.

The 35mm tube size isn’t the biggest one that you’ll find on the market, but with the addition of the digital zoom and the RG Illuminated Glass Etched Reticle you’ll be able to hit targets that are more than 500 yards away. There are lots of people that use this scope for 1000 yards shots at the range, with excellent results. 

Also, you’ll manage using this scope in difficult conditions as well. With its nitrogen purged scope body, completely sealed with an o-ring, you’ll have both a waterproof and fog-proof scope. Being out on a hunt on a cold and damp day will not be a problem for you, you’ll be able to find your target with ease.

Overall, if you’re looking for a scope that has serious zooming capabilities, the Sniper KT 12-60X60 is the best 500 yard scope for you. It’s a bit pricier than the other alternatives here, but for the premium features that it offers, it’s well worth it. You usually find these features on scopes that are 2-3 times more expensive than this one, so you’ll be wisely spending money on this purchase. 

Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×50

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Best 500 yard rifle scope –
best in low light

If you’re the type of hunter that does a lot of at dawn or at sunset hunting, when light conditions aren’t perfect, then the Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×50 is the best 500 yard rifle scope for you. We talked about the importance of light transmission and how a scope’s lens is very important in capturing light from the surrounding environment, and this scope does this for you very well.

This is not the cheapest scope on this list, but it does deliver a good quality product, with quality features. Leupold has a long history of making good, sturdy scopes that deliver very good results. The VX-3HD has a durable aluminum tube with matte finish, so it looks pretty good as well.

You get a 50 mm objective lens diameter which allows you to adjust the magnification between 3.5 and 10x. That should suffice for 500 yards. Leupold’s Elite Optical System aids in light transmission, glare reduction and higher resolution in less than ideal conditions.

The duplex reticle, defined by heavy posts, stands out against cover in low light. This type of reticle helps you fixate your eyes easier on the thing that you’re aiming at. It’s really quite a simple technique, by having thicker outer parts on the crosshair your eyes will naturally focus on the middle part of it.

As all of the better scopes out there, you get a 100% Waterproof, fogproof, shockproof scope here too. Also, the ZeroLock CDS-ZL (Custom Dial System) simplifies longer shots by eliminating the need for holdovers or ballistic calculations by using a dial that is customized to your gear. Good and easy to use.

In the end, let’s not forget about a big selling point of this scope: lifetime warranty from Leupold. That shows how confident they are about the product that they’re selling to you. So, if you’re looking for a scope that will help you in low light conditions, the Leupold VX-3HD 3.5-10×50 is the best 500 yard rifle scope for you.

Monstrum G3 6-24×50

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Best 500 yard rifle scope –
best range option

If you’re the type of hunter that does a fair bit of 500 yard shooting but wants to be able to tackle further distances, then the Monstrum G3 6-24×50 is the best 500 yard rifle scope for you. It gives you the ability to use it in situations where you might need to be further from your game or it will enable you to steadily increase your effective shooting distance in the range.

This scope has a custom designed FFP reticle for faster range estimation and holdover correction. Fully functional MOA markings won’t get in the way of your target. The etched black reticle is always visible without illumination or can be lit in red for better reticle visibility at night or low light environments.

The body of the scope is crafted from heavy duty, yet light weight 6061 aluminum. Fully sealed, the nitrogen-filled tube is completely waterproof and fogproof. The scope comes with full multicoated lens to reduce glare, and loss of light due to reflection. This allows for better light transmission and sharper contrast. The coating also helps prevents scratches on the lens.

This scope has a 1/4 MOA/click windage & elevation adjustments with zero reset and turret locks to prevent slippage. All adjustment assemblies are entirely made of metal which make them function smoother. This package also includes a set of high profile picatinny scope rings, a set of spring loaded flip-up lens covers and a detachable honeycomb filter sunshade, so you won’t have to purchase them separately.

Overall, if you want a very capable 500 yard rifle scope that you can use at higher distances too, the the Monstrum G3 6-24×50 is the best 500 yard rifle scope for you. You won’t break the bank for it too, aw it sits in a very confortable price range for what it offers.

Now that you have seen the scopes that are available to you to target out to 500 yards, you’ll be able to find the best scope in your price range. There are several options to consider and they’re all appealing in different ways. Some of the pricier rifle scopes for 500 yards options are very impressive but they won’t be practical for everybody out there. The cost-effective options are still great and they won’t put you in a financial bind.

Take the time to choose whichever of the rifle scopes is best for your situation. You’ll be able to make shots at 500 yards much more easily with the help of a high-quality scope.

The best affordable scope is in our opinion the Crossfire II from Vortex Optics. If money does not matter then go for the Leupold VX3-HD. It’s an awesome optic for a large variety of distances including 500 yard shots. A good compromise can be the Monstrum G3 6-24×50 with the first focal plane reticle and a large maximum magnification.

Any of the above scopes are recommended but they’re going to be good at different things. As long as you have a good idea of what you want, deciding shouldn’t take you too long. And there’s plenty of good choices that will give you the best 500 yard rifle scope for you.