Listed below are the 8 best hunting scopes available in 2023 with a focus on long range hunting. There are countless optics available for hunters to choose from, with companies constantly releasing new models with better features appealing to modern hunters. This list below is a starting off point with most of the optics listed are available in other configurations, such as lower magnification ranges. The optics chosen are selected with features important for hunters, including solid construction and being lightweight. We also have a separate list for the 8 Best Scopes Under $1000 and the 8 Best Premium Scopes Available in 2023.
Table of Contents
- Maven RS.4 5-30×56
- Steiner Predator 8 4-32×56
- Schmidt & Bender Exos 3-21×50
- Burris Eliminator 5 5-20×50
- Swarovski Z8i 3.5-28×50
- Leupold VX-6HD 4-24×52
- Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50
- Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35×60
Maven RS.4 5-30×56
Maven Optics are based out of Wyoming in the US and are known for their crystal-clear glass. Another key point is that they are a direct to consumer company meaning their products are only available through their website and as a result the price tag on their optics have no added retail markup. This allows the company to produce high quality optics at a discounted rate compared to the competition. From first hand experience, the glass quality in the Maven RS.4 will exceed your expectations.
Comparatively its slightly heavier than other optics on the list, the RS.4 is still one of the best hunting scopes available in 2023 due to its short tube and huge 120 MOA elevation adjustment. As I use a Maven RS.3 on my hunting setup, I can tell you that when Maven says the RS series have an ‘Exceptionally Clear, Bright, High Contrast Image’ they aren’t lying.
Quick Stats: Maven RS.4
|Weight||35.4oz / 1004g|
|Eye Relief||3.62” / 92mm|
Maven RS.4 5-30×56
Steiner Predator 8 4-32×56
Steiner are known to produce high quality optics that are built to survive the toughest conditions. The newly released Predator 8 continues that legacy and easily makes the list of the best hunting scopes. A standout feature for the Predator 8 is the customisable ballistic turret. The three different numbered and movable rings can be set to the users custom distances, ensuring elevation changes are fast and accurate. The huge magnification range, low weight and solid construction make the Steiner Predator 8 a great scope for long range hunting.
Quick Stats: Steiner Predator 8
|Weight||27.3oz / 773g|
|Eye Relief||3.7” / 93mm|
Schmidt & Bender Exos 3-21×50
The most expensive optic on our list, the Schmidt & Bender Exos is a perfect example of getting what you pay for when spending big on a scope. The superb true colour glass quality, high quality customisable turrets and rugged military grade constriction come together in a perfect all-rounder hunting scope. The turret design is arguably the best on the market with extremely tactile clicks. Additionally, the 50mm objective lens and short 340mm overall length make for a compact package. If you get the chance, get hands on with the Schmidt & Bender Exos and see why it’s worth the price tag.
Quick Stats: Schmidt & Bender Exos
|Weight||32.6oz / 924g|
|Eye Relief||3.54″ / 90mm|
Burris Eliminator 5 5-20×50
I have been lucky enough to test out the new Burris Eliminator 5 for a few months on my hunting rifle. The scope has a built-in ballistic calculator and with the push of a button you can see the distance to target and exact point of aim all from inside the scope. The Eliminator 5 has long range hunting covered with a massive maximum range out to 2000 yards/1828 meters. The scope uses 2 x AAA batteries and is easy to mount and zero in. Furthermore, once calibrated to your ammunition of choice it’s as simple as pressing a button to range the target and the firing solution dot appears on the reticle.
Quick Stats: Burris Eliminator
|Weight||28.8oz / 816g|
|Eye Relief||4” / 101mm|
Swarovski Z8i 3.5-28×50
If you want the best glass available, the Swarovski Z8i is for you. The Swarovski optics family is loved by hunters around the world for its tough construction and unrivaled clarity. The unique illumination controls on top of the scopes eye piece allow the user quick access to night and day illumination control. A spare battery is even included in the windage turret. In poor light conditions, the Swarovski Z8i’s glass will shine. Unquestionably the Swarovski Z8i is lightweight, compact and has exceptional European glass quality making it one of the best hunting scopes available.
Quick Stats: Swarovski Z8i
|Weight||23.5oz / 666g|
|Eye Relief||3.74″ / 94mm|
Leupold VX-6HD 4-24×52
Leupold are the workhorse of the hunting optics world. The VX-6HD series are a very popular choice for long range hunters as the price point and quality are well matched. The VX-6HD series offers push button locking mechanism on the turrets which ensures they aren’t moved accidentally. Also featured is an inbuilt electronic reticle level, if the optic is one degree left or right, the illuminated reticle blinks to let the user know its off center. Both bright and clear glass coupled with the bombproof construction give some tough competition to the European brands.
Quick Stats: Leupold VX-6HD
|Weight||25.9oz. / 734g|
|Eye Relief||3.7″ / 93mm|
Vortex Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50
The Razor series from Vortex made a name for itself in the target shooting community with its professional grade features and good price point. The hunting focused Razor HD LHT 4.5-22×50 is a well though out hunting optic drawing on the qualities of the proven target shooting variants. Locking elevation turret, capped windage, illuminated reticle, and side-parallax adjustment are all packed into the compact 30mm tube. This is the lowest priced optic in the list due to the smaller magnification range and tube size. However, the Vortex Razor HD LHT remains a lightweight and intuitive hunting optic.
Quick Stats: Vortex Razor HD LHT
|Weight||21.7oz / 615g|
|Eye Relief||4” / 101mm|
Zeiss Victory V8 4.8-35×60
The final scope is the heavy hitting Zeiss Victory V8 with its giant 60mm objective lens and magnification range of 4.8-35. The German made Schott glass lenses in the V8 range provide a crystal-clear image with high light transmission. Surprisingly the optic weighs in at only 35.1oz/995g considering the huge magnification range and 36mm tube. In addition to the great optical quality, the Zeiss Victory V8 also has an extra large eye box for fast target acquisition. To prevent accidental change of zero in the field, the windage and elevation turrets have to be pulled up to make adjustments then dropped down which locks them into place. The Zeiss Victory V8 is a purpose built premium long distance hunting optic.
Quick Stats: Zeiss Victory V8
|Weight||35.1oz / 995g|
|Eye Relief||3.62” / 92mm|
Things to Look For in a Long Range Hunting Scope
Each user will have specific features that are important to them in a hunting scope, whether its a high magnification range, being lightweight or a specific price point. The tables below list out common specifications that are often important to hunters when looking at the best hunting scopes.
There is a large spread of prices on these optics. The Vortex Razor HD LHT is at least 2,000USD cheaper than the Schmidt & Bender Exos. However it does not have the quality of glass and the same level of construction as the Exos.
|Maven RS.4||1800 USD|
|Steiner Predator 8||1999 USD|
|Schmidt & Bender Exos||4340 USD|
|Burris Eliminator 5||1899 USD|
|Swarovski Z8i||3699 USD|
|Leupold VX-6HD||2299 USD|
|Vortex Razor HD LHT||1499 USD|
|Zeiss Victory V8||3999 USD|
This table lists where each scopes glass lenses are manufactured. This is often an important feature to long range hunters, as the better the glass the better you can identify your target in daylight and low light conditions. Germany and Austria are renown for manufacturing exceptional glass quality. The European manufactured glass is some of the best in the world but is reflected in the large jump in price as seen in the table above.
|Steiner Predator 8||Germany|
|Schmidt & Bender Exos||Germany|
|Burris Eliminator 5||USA|
|Vortex Razor HD LHT||Japan|
|Zeiss Victory V8||Germany|
All the optics on offer have a large objective lens of 50mm or more, which captures a lot of light and allows for a crisp image. The magnification ranges vary between manufacturers however each optic on offer is capable of long distance shooting and truly are long range hunting capable scopes. If magnification is an important factor for you, the Zeiss Victory V8 and Steiner Predator 8 are clear leaders. If magnification isn’t as important, be mindful that most of the optics listed are also available in lower magnification ranges.
|Steiner Predator 8||4-32×56|
|Schmidt & Bender Exos||3-21×50|
|Burris Eliminator 5||5-20×50|
|Vortex Razor HD LHT||4.5-22×50|
|Zeiss Victory V8||4.5x35x60|
There is a spread of weights between the scopes with the Maven RS.4 being the heaviest and the Vortex Razor HD LHT the lightest. The weight of an optic becomes very important if you are spending a lot of time on foot where the weight of the rifle combined with the weight of the bipod and optic can become a burden. Choose an optic with a weight that combined with your rifle will suit your style of hunting.
|Maven RS.4||35.5oz / 1004g|
|Steiner Predator 8||27.3oz / 773g|
|Schmidt & Bender Exos||32.6oz / 924g|
|Burris Eliminator 5||28.8oz / 816g|
|Swarovski Z8i||23.5oz / 666g|
|Leupold VX-6HD||25.9oz. / 734g|
|Vortex Razor HD LHT||21.7oz / 615g|
|Zeiss Victory V8||34.2oz / 970g|
Most of the optics have a very similar eye relief with only the Vortex and Burris being a little more generous with larger ranges. If you wear glasses you may be suited to an optic with a little more eye relief.
|Maven RS.4||3.62” / 92mm|
|Steiner Predator 8||3.7” / 93mm|
|Schmidt & Bender Exos||3.54″ / 90mm|
|Burris Eliminator 5||4” / 101mm|
|Swarovski Z8i||3.74″ / 94mm|
|Leupold VX-6HD||3.7″ / 93mm|
|Vortex Razor HD LHT||4” / 101mm|
|Zeiss Victory V8||3.74” / 95mm|
Having the reticle illuminated allows the user to see the crosshairs more easily in low light conditions. This offsets looking at a dark object in low light and trying to see where the center of your crosshair is. All optics listed come with an illuminated reticle.
|Steiner Predator 8||Yes|
|Schmidt & Bender Exos||Yes|
|Burris Eliminator 5||Yes|
|Vortex Razor HD LHT||Yes|
|Zeiss Victory V8||Yes|