The Best Scope Magnification for 500 yards

Five hundred yards is a difficult range to find the best rifle optic for, whether you’re hunting or target shooting. It isn’t a very long range, but it’s far enough that you most likely couldn’t get away with short-range optics. That’s why it’s important to choose the best scope magnification for 500 yards, including one with a high magnification range for this type of rifle, in order to make this distance as feasible as possible.

Keep reading to find out what you need to know about scope magnification for 500 yards, and what the best rifle scope is for this range.

Why Choose a Scope for 500 Yards?

A 500-yard scope is effective up to 500 yards. This distance is considered less than a long range, but it still can include a series of different distances and scenarios. Therefore, it’s important to consider the image quality of your rifle scope in order for it to help you reach your maximum potential.

A 500-yard scope is a great investment for those who want to achieve great accuracy, improve their shooting skills, or increase their success on their hunting trips. It will help you pinpoint your target more quickly so that you can get your shot out as soon as possible. As is the case with scopes for all distances, the best scope for 500 yards will provide you with solid image quality that will improve clarity and give you a better view of your target.

The question of the best magnification scope for 500 yards isn’t a straightforward answer, as it depends on a few variables. Let’s take a look at what you should consider in choosing scope magnification for 500 yards.

What to Consider When Choosing Scope Magnification for 500 Yards

Magnification is an important aspect of all scopes, and you have to know what your hunting needs are to help you choose a scope – like a red dot sight, for example – with the right magnification.

For the best results, it’s important to have adjustable magnification for your scope, and it’s even more important for longer distances, such as the 500-yard mark. The right magnification scope allows you to achieve greater accuracy and hit your targets at a higher success rate.

For 500 yards, the minimum magnification you’ll need is generally 5x. A 4-16×50 magnification scope would be perfect for this. However, you’ll find scopes with magnification up to 18x. Remember, higher magnification means a reduced field of view, so you’ll have to determine whether that compromise aligns with your hunting habits. A 4×32 scope might be enough. But I would recommend 5x!

It’s also important to determine how often you’ll realistically be shooting at 500 yards. If you don’t usually shoot at that range and want to get the most use out of your scope, you might be better off getting a scope with slightly lower magnification to give you more flexibility with your shots.

Other Considerations for Scope Magnification for 500 Yards

Although magnification should be at the top of your list when it comes to choosing a scope suitable for 500 yards, there are other factors that you need to consider to choose the best scope for your hunting needs. These include:

  • The quality of the lens for optimal performance
  • Superior light transmission for better visibility
  • Sufficient eye relief
  • Durability for firearm impact and various weather conditions

Scope Magnification for 500 Yards – Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm Rifle Scope

Leupold VX-5HD

If you’re looking for a premium scope for 500 yards with superior features, the Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x56mm Rifle Scope might be the best choice for you.

What makes this scope great is the quality of its performance thanks to the large objective and variety of useful features. This scope features Leupold’s Twilight Max HD Light Management System to provide the brightest view possible, as well as give you 30 minutes of extra shooting light.

This scope has a lightweight but durable design that is waterproof and fog proof to help you perform at your best no matter the weather or light conditions. What’s more is that this scope offers generous eye relief to prevent eye strain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What magnification do I need for 500 yards?

Generally spelling, a scope magnification of 3-15x is most popular for 500 yards. Picking the correct magnification will depend highly on your specific use case. For example, most close range hunters do not need a 15x scope.

What is a good scope power for 500 yards?

12x scope power is good for 500 yards. This will give you a crystal clear image of your target from 500 yards away so you can shoot with precision. Anything more than 12x is likely overkill and does not provide any extra value.

How far can you see with a 4 12x50 scope?

You can expect to see 300-500m with a 4-12x50 scope magnification. This is a popular scope for long range hunters that need to be able to spot game from long distances.

What range is a 3 9x40 scope good for?

Generally speaking, a 3-9x40 scope is good for shots from 50-300 yards. This makes it a very versatile scope option that can shoot from short, medium, and long ranges. Adjust your scope magnification depending on your specific use case.


Choosing the best scope magnification for 500 yards is a tricky but doable challenge. Although this distance is somewhat mid-range, you’ll find mid- to high-quality scopes that are capable of doing the job. When you use the best scope for 500 yards, you improve your skills and enhance your hunting experience.

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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