600 Yard rifle scope


January 1, 2011, 02:01 AM
I am new to 600 yd shooting and am looking at different scopes. To be honest I have no clue how powerful of a scope it takes at 600 yds. 8-26x50, 5-20x50, 10-40x50? The largest scope I have ever used is 3-9x40 at 100yds.:D There is currently a really good sale at Optics Planet on all Barska scopes and was hoping for input on scope size so I can buy one.


Any input is greatly appreciated.

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January 1, 2011, 02:15 AM
On a budget, the SWFA SS 10x or the Bushnell 10X 3200 Tactical would be great options before spending money on a Barska in my opinion. They are quite simple in operation, rugged and supply enough power for 600 yard shooting. Of course they're many other options to choose from but these models are a good start.

January 1, 2011, 07:41 AM
I would second that about SWFA 10x, if you are on budget. Remember than when you are shooting 600y you are only using a riflescope for aiming, not for reading hits. If you actually want to see holes, remembering that holes are black on black target, i.e. extremely low contrast, you would need any one of the most expensive scopes like Zeiss, S&B, March or Premier Reticles in a magnification around 40x. Japanese company March makes some of the best scopes for target shooting, they do them in 40x and they use Apochromatic glass, like the best photo cameras.

To see holes, you are much better off geting some descent spotting scope, with possibly 80mm front lens and magnification around 60x.

January 1, 2011, 07:50 AM
Look into the Nikon 4X16X42mm with side focus. $440 or so. Great bang for the buck scope. You get what you pay for.

January 1, 2011, 08:11 AM
I have only used the Bushnell 3200 Elite 10X mil-dot but I have to say it is a very good scope for the money and has held up well under brutal recoil and constant turret adjustment. I've used it out to 800+ yards and scored hits, though in all honesty that distance is past the capabilities of myself and my rifle. But the scope works great for my intended purpose as my rifle is an honest 600-yard gun. Here's a pic of a fire extinguisher at 628 yards, the lowest dot is exactly where the 8mm round will hit at that distance, so you can see where the fire extinguisher is at the exact moment of firing. At that distance the scope still allows for easy first-shot-hit shooting (shooting beyond that has taken me a lot of practice).


Jim Watson
January 1, 2011, 10:57 AM
What are you shooting AT at 600 yards?

I see (and do) that most target shooters firing at a clearly defined bullseye will use a lot higher magnification than the Internet Gunboard Standard.
Now if you are doing field shooting, go by Zak Smith's recommendations, which will lead you to a lower power.

Barska scopes are cheap, try to budget a little more for the job.

January 1, 2011, 11:01 AM
Look into the Nikon 4X16X42mm with side focus. $440 or so. Great bang for the buck scope. You get what you pay for.
That's a really nice scope, I also recommend it.


This Weaver at Midway is also a good scope, but it looks like they've stopped the intro price of $300. Still a good deal for a mil/mil scope though.


For less $, the Bushnell 3200 10x40 fixed is a good option as mentioned above.

January 1, 2011, 01:30 PM
I know a couple long range target shooters that make shots from 500-2000yrds. 700-900yrd shots on beer cans & 20oz pop bottles. Out to 2000yrds on steel. They use Rem 700 platforms aftermarket stocks & cambered in 300RUM. Optics on all the rifles is the Millett LRS-1 6-25x56 with a 30mm tube. Turrents for elev & windage & side focus. Natchez has them on sale right now for $370.

Very clear glass. Only downfall is it's like 2ft long!! I ordered one but haven't got it yet.

January 1, 2011, 01:46 PM
Mueller Eraticator - 8.5-25x50 with illuminated reticule. $250 (or less if you shop around). I was using that on my AR-15 until I got a Nikon M-223 4-16x42SF

January 1, 2011, 01:54 PM
Quite a few people recommended the Bushnell 3200 Elite 10X mil-dot scope so I researched it. From what I could find its best range is 100-200 yds. I would be using my scope for shooting targets at 600 yds so I want something that could bring the target in fairly close. Budget is about 400 give or take.

January 1, 2011, 02:14 PM
After looking for a while I found three brands that had high zoom capability (20x + magnification when zoomed in all the way) and weee still affordable: Mueller, Millett, and Barska. Any preferences, pros/cons? Thanks for the help.

January 1, 2011, 02:16 PM
Yeah the 3200 mildot 10x or the SS is the best bang for the $$$ IMHO and certainly a 600 yard scope. A 4-16x or so is also good but be careful of cheap brands. It has to be made in Japan, USA or Germany to be worth buying again IMHO .

January 1, 2011, 03:09 PM
The Nitrex scopes being closed out look like a lot of bang for the buck, and would certainly be a better scope than Barska.



January 1, 2011, 03:24 PM
What are you shooting AT at 600 yards?

This is SO important. Many shooters don't have a clue as to what optics are required for different forms of shooting. Not only is the magnification important, but the reticle is equally important. If you're shooting at 1/2 MOA targets but your reticle is 1 MOA thick you have a problem. Zak discusses this issue on his website. Front focal and second focal plane reticles may affect target acquisition too, particularly at long range. The point is, you need to match the optics to the job at hand. As in many aspects of life, it's a compromise where you either choose an optic for a very specific task or choose one for more general use. Another thing to consider is your point of aim. For competitive target shooting, F-Class for instance, the aiming black at 600 yards is 36" and the rings are low contrast. It's hard enough to get a consistent point of aim in ideal conditions with a high-end optic, but with a sub-par optic, and with any kind of mirage you'll be very frustrated. Small, high-contrast targets are the easiest to aim at such as a white steel plate set against a darker backdrop, but once the contrast is less than "ideal" you'll wish you had a better optic.

You'll here the typical internet BS about what people are doing with their $300 scopes and you'll here equally ridiculous claims of how they can hit this or that all day long, but do some research and you'll soon figure out what successful long-range shooters are using.

January 1, 2011, 03:37 PM
My only experience with Barska glass: I purchased a Barska spotting scope (somewhere in the 25x power range) for range shooting one day and could see my hits at 100 yds clearer with my old leupold vari x 2 (3-9x40). I returned the Barska the same day. Now, I would imagine there are better grades of glass offered by Barska than the glass I bought. But still, not being able to see a .308 size hole clearly at 100 yards is pretty bad. I won't waste my time with that brand again.

January 1, 2011, 04:01 PM
If you talking about this Barska Scope http://www.opticsplanet.net/barska-8-26x50-benchmark-riflescope-ac11198.html

...I've never looked through one but the specs seem decent. I have looked through similarly priced Bushnell Elite 3200 5-15x, Vortex Viper, and Nikon Monarch 4-16x scopes and I think for the Money the Nikon Monarch is a great buy for the glass. Most folks shooting 600yrds or more on a regular basis are going to invest in premium glass with a little more power 24x to 32x should do well (for paper punching).

If you do pick up the Barska 8-26x50 Benchmark Riflescope report back I'm courious how these stack up.

PS while $399 looks like a sale price for the Benchmark that is the going price around the internet so don't worry about jumping on it.

January 2, 2011, 12:18 AM
For 600 yards--a 9x scope is probably your minimum for a basketball-sized target, which represents center mass on most large living targets. It will basically look like a very small dot in your crosshairs--and nailing it repeatedly is possible, once you find range.

I would prefer something in the 20x range at that distance but again, it's not absolutely necessary.

On the topic of Barska: I actually have a Barska 10x40 that I mounted on my Sendero chambered in 300 RUM. My bro-in-law gave me hell about that supposed POS for a long time--until he actually fired it under long range conditions.

The scope works plenty well out to 1000 yards and beyond, no doubt.

However, I would not classify it as a great scope. It certainly does the job--the optics are reasonably clear and it stays at zero, even under the 300 RUM's heavy recoil.

In a competition or life-or-death situation, I would NOT pick a Barska. I own crystal clear optics and this scope is not one of them. But it is plenty good for casual long range target applications. But I would never by choice walk into a life or death situation with a rebated-rim cartridge anyway, and I don't shoot 1000 yard competition, so I guess it doesn't matter :-)

Zak Smith
January 2, 2011, 01:58 AM
Here's are some tools to deal with the question

article | Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting, Part II - Optics http://demigodllc.com/icon/extwh3.png (http://demigodllc.com/articles/practical-long-range-rifle-shooting-optics/)

Most people get scopes with too much magnification because they think it's required for long-range shooting. It's not. 12x in clear optics is sufficient to shoot 1 MOA to 1200 yards if you and your equipment are up to it.

January 2, 2011, 11:02 AM
Don't waste your money on the Barska. I had one on a 30.06 1903. After about a dozen shots the reticle was doing loopty loops and the focus reminded me of my drinking days. The scope just went completely tits-up.:eek:
Millott or SS scopes are good for the money. The Super Sniper Scope is tough as nails too. Simple fixed power but very usable for under $400.
The rifle with the Barska and therifle after I got rid of the junk Barska and out the Leupold on it.

January 2, 2011, 12:04 PM
Yes Barska Scopes are cheap. Doesn't make them bad though. I've been using a 10-40X50 in their "SWAT" model for some time now on a Rem 700 SS 5-R Milspec. Nice and clear, don't need a spotting scope out to 300 yards and has held up well. Passes the "box" test and was under $300 at Optic's Planet. Don't underestimate Barska. Several of the "Benchresters" at my club have even been surprised with it's quality for the price.

Don't bother with the mounts that ship with them though. THOSE are cheap. I'm using Leupold QD's on mine.

January 2, 2011, 12:36 PM
If precision shooting @ long range is your goal then don't waste your money on cheap glass.

January 2, 2011, 02:11 PM
I must agree 100% with Damon 555. If you save up and spend $500, you'll be much happier over time. Clancy 12, how serious are you about shooting 600 yds? Is this something you plan on doing regularly? If so, save your pennies for a few more months and buy something better than marginal. Or is 600 yds a distance you will shoot only once in a blue moon? Generally speaking, if you plan on spending $300 on a scope for regular, serious long-range use, you will more-than-likely end up frustrated. That said, I do own a Burris Fullfied II 4.5-14x42 (ballistic plex reticle) that I have been pleased with. The longest I have shot with it is 400 yards. (Balloons stapled to a plywood board make an effective, cheap long-range target!) Burris works well at that distance in the middle of the day when light is good. Balloons show up clearly enough for taking confident shots. I have no idea how it performs at distances past 400. Also, I have never shot it past 150 yards in low light. Worked fine on that deer though. There have been around 15 deer shot using that particular Burris and the scope did its job every time. (That number of deer included whitetail and axis deer shot by myself, 2 of my buddies, and one of my little sisters). Overall, however, for regular long range use, my first reccommendation is to save up for a high quality scope, whatever your preference. I have a VX 3 4.5-14x40 that I love for long-range use. My longest/best shot was at a distance of 405 yds on a South TX javalina. I only needed 1 shot, so it was effective enough. Thanks to my wonderful, understanding wife, he currently resides at Fredericksburg, TX taxidermy! (And you bet I will be showing her this post for a few bonus Brownie Points that I will exchange this coming week for some time afield with the new .22-250 she gave me for Christmas :-))))))))

January 2, 2011, 04:32 PM
If you feel you absolutely MUST have more magnification here's a $300 suggestion:


You may wish you'd opted for a lower power however if you shoot a lot of variable distance targets. Remember too that your field of view will be narrower with higher magnification so finding small targets can take more time and cheap optics can leave you with a splitting headache if used for extended periods of time.

January 3, 2011, 04:32 PM
To be honest I have no clue how powerful of a scope it takes at 600 yds.

Well, it doesn't really take any magnification at all to hit at 600 yards. A real Rifleman ought to be able to do it with iron sights. A scope doesn't make the rifle any more accurate -- it just makes it easier to see the target. I guess what magnification would be optimal would depend on what type of shooting you are planning on doing at 600 yards, and what type of target you're shooting at. Really, once you can clearly see the target, it doesn't help to have any more magnification... it will just magnify the "wobble" and limit your field of view if you're talking about field shooting.

If don't have much experience shooting at 600 yards, I'd say just buy a cheap 3-9x and go out and shoot. That power range will work just fine for that distance. Once you get some experience shooting at that distance, you will probably have a better idea of what you want in a scope.

January 14, 2011, 08:41 PM
I don't know if you have purchased a scope yet, but I agree with just about every post above stating that you don't want to buy cheap glass. I have a Bushnell Elite series 10x40m that I purchased for around $190. It does a really good job at 300 yards on my .308 bolt gun...I can hit a 6 inch target time after time, and often shoot sub-moa groups with it at 300 yards...dime size groups at 100 yards. My buddy up in Tennessee has a SWFA SS 10x42mm that he shoots on his DPMS .308, and it shoots equally well. He paid about $300 for his SWFA SS and it is a more versatile scope and worth the extra $100.

Either of these scopes is within your budget and will certainly shoot out to 600 yards accurately. If you plan to shoot very small targets (6 inch or less) at that range, recommend you get the SWFA SS 16x42mm.

Go to SniperCentral.com for great reviews on optics.


January 15, 2011, 01:21 AM
I could give you 20 different options (or more) in that price range of scopes with equal quality. I'll say the SWFA SS X10 seems to be a common "beginner" optic to start a long range career with. To put it simply, typically the guys with experience I see shooting Nightforce, US Optics, Schmidt & Bender, Leupold, and Premier Reticle.

January 15, 2011, 12:15 PM
Listen to skylerbone. That fixed 16 power Super Sniper Scope is a Japanese Tasco built and is a great scope. It was built for a gov't Navy contract. I know Tasco is is not known as a high end scope. That's because they market all their cheap stuff in the US. The Super Sniper Scope is quite different. It is high quality and a lot of bang for the buck. I know you can knit pick about this that and the other thing but the bottom line is it does the job and it won't break and it won't break the bank. I paid $300 for mine sometime ago, they may be a little more money now. The scope is as tough as nails, the adjustments are absolutely definitive and repeatable and the glass is easily up to the job for anybody and is a true 3.5" @ 100 yrd. mil-dot reticle.
I put it on this custom build I did on a Smith Corona 1903A3.
My range here in Merlin OR has a "gong" at 600 yrds. The gong is the top 18 inches of an acetylene tank suspended from chain.
This rifle/scope combo will, has and can hit the gong virtually each and every time and the combo will shoot sub-MOA groups without question.
This is not speculation, it is my actual experience from real world use on many, many occasions.

January 15, 2011, 12:23 PM
Tasco made (and makes) a lot of industrial grade scopes. I just got one marked US Govt. I also just sold a 702TR (target ranging) 6-24X scope to another member who shoots long range. Don't discount Tasco until you have used that actual model in question :)

January 15, 2011, 01:07 PM






Good deals on used optics can also be had on eBay.

January 15, 2011, 02:45 PM
Another scope you may want to look at is the Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40 Matte BDC.

Very nice scope for the money, life time warranty and the optics are great!

About $200....

April 14, 2011, 11:35 PM
i recently received my ss16x42 from swfa for $316 shipped. for the price tag IMHO you cannot beat this scope. i mounted mine on top of a factory savage 12 vlp dbm in 22-243 middlestead and shot my best group ever today at 304 yds. with over 120 moa adjustment on windage and elevation, true tracking to and from zero, and an etched glass mildot reticle. here is my 3 shot group... you be the judge...

theres an error that wont let me upload the pictures, but you can see them on my thread listed as 22-243 middlestead

April 16, 2011, 10:49 PM
leatherwood art scope

April 17, 2011, 10:32 AM
More magnification doesn't just magnify the target, it also magnifies any mirage. If you've never been out on a bad mirage day, you make think that this is overplayed. I assure you that I've had to dial back to around 12x to clearly see a 200yd target on a bad day. I was still able to shoot around MOA for 20rds.

Get the best glass you can afford. Makes shooting nicer at all ranges. Don't get carried away with magnification or the size of the objective. Clear glass trumps both every time.

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