Best Long Range Scopes
for ELR applications
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Which is the best long range scope?
That’s a big question there which we come across often. The path to choosing the best long range scope is a challenging one. It becomes even more challenging the moment you want to take that long range scope past a mile and into ELR territory. With more shooters venturing into this space, we thought to share our journey as part of My ELR shooting story series.
Italian Fclass Champion and ELR fanatic Gianfranco Zanoni built this amazing 416B/ 375Chey in Italy by BCM with March Genesis ELR scope.
For the purposes of this article, we are interested in the best long range scope more specifically for ELR applications. Whether you are actually into ELR or not, we invite you to learn more about this interesting topic that will broaden your view on long range shooting anyhow. Ultimately, there is no long range shooting like ELR shooting.
Best long range scopes over the years
There are many long range scopes out there that will do a great job to a 1000yards from rather entry level 10x magnification rifle scopes to more advanced, heavy duty tactical rifle scopes meant to be used for PRS style matches with adjustable magnification, zero stops, parallax adjustment, single, double or multi-turn turrets and even incorporating digital environmental readings on the scope lens like a heads up display as seen on the Steiner model M7Xi IFS 4-28×56 below.
A 20 year old Leupold VX3 6.5-20 target scope will do 1000yards no problem as will a Nightforce BR 12-42×56. For many years the latter dominated the BR and Fclass lines as a dependable mid level scope. For those living outside the US, these were very priced possessions back in the days.
However most of these optics were limited by vertical travel or rather the amount of vertical adjustment one could dial in to take you further out without the need to hold over or use an offset method. Read more about using an offset method here by ELR champion Ryan Cheney.
20 years ago or so, the Leupold mk4 16x as often seen on the legendary Tac50 used by Rob Furlong, was the apex of rifle scope technology at the time . It sported 120MOA of vertical and fixed 16x magnification in a 30mm tube and a traditional mil-dot reticle. We came a long way today and we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the best long range rifle scopes. My friend Thomas had this very same scope on his Steyr HS50 BMG, we shot many rounds with this combo to 1800m at the time, more than 15 years ago. It held well and did the job on the army pop up electronic targets in Switzerland.
I had the opportunity to try the Tac50 myself in 2008 during my studies in the Alpine country of Switzerland with the fabulous lads of the FCSA Swiss.
ELR Scope considerations
We have used a fair number of long range rifle scopes over the years however when it came to our ELR applications, the choices were more limited and the prices of these scopes started to become a fairly expensive venture. With some of the best long range scopes priced over $3500 and past even past $4000, the ELR considerations sent us into some serious contemplation. More over we also had to consider the price of the adjustable rifle scope mount that would allow us to make the most of the full adjustment of the scope.
March High Master 5-42×56 long range scope
One of these Eratac adjustable mounts easily runs at $500 while the Ivey is closer to $1000. The Ivey adjustable mount offers up to 200MOA of elevation on a turret adjustable mount which is however on a different plane as its on the side. It can make it more challenging during a timed competition event when you are under pressure to manage two elevation turrets on two different plains. And yes we tested the Ivey with our favorite jig and high magnification scope, the 5-42 March seen here which enables us to hold a very specific point of aim while we dial in the windage. The Ivey was repeatable but it’s a heavy setup especially with some of the heavier ELR scopes that weigh more than 1kg. The popular vortex 6-36×56 scope for example weights 1278grams plus the 907grams of the Ivey makes it a heavy proposition. (2.185kg/ 77oz)
The Eratac combo will take most setups to a max of about 170 MOA/ 49 Mrad or thereabouts however you still need some tools to adjust the Eratac so the best is to set this mount at a specific inclination and let it be.
The largest amount of vertical travel available today is achieved by scopes like the Nightforce 5-25×56 ATACR (120MOA/ 35mrad), the March 5-42×56 High Master (140MOA / 40.7MOA), the new Zeiss LRP 5-25×56 (140MOA or 40.7mrad) or the Hensoldt 3.5-25×56. That’s plenty elevation to take most ELR calibers to about 2500m before running out of elevation on their turret. Keep in mind that most scopes do not like being used at the very far end of their adjustment range and will even limit the amount of windage travel you have available.
Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56 piloting a 300NM above and below on a unique 375 Cheytac blackbird rifle.
This Hensoldt was the scope of Choice for Stefan Van Der Heide from Holland that cleaned the targets at Ko1M France with his 300 Norma Mag. Stefan loves the simplicity of this Hensoldt scope with its large turrets and simple reticle. Read more about it here with Stefan.
The best long range ELR scope had to be repeatable and dependable. we required over 120MOA/35 Mrad of vertical adjustment as well as a fairly generous amount of windage, ideally with more than 18MOA, 5.2Mrad per half turn on the windage to keep things simple when we need to take those ultra long shots.
So far, we have a scope costing approximately $3500, an Eratac adjustable mount of $500 and we still need a dedicated device to enable us to double the amount of elevation to achieve 200MOA.
Enter the Prism Device – Charlie Tarac, Nightforce Wedge
What is a Charlie Tarac device used for?
The Charlie TARAC is a periscope that optically shifts your target image higher so you aim higher to compensate for bullet drop. The result is an optical, not mechanical, elevation gain to shoot beyond your scope’s travel.(source tacomhq.com)
What should you know about the Charlie Tarac prism device?
Charlie TARACs are calibrated to order. MIL and MOA available.
When you order a Charlie TARAC, either:
1) Match your scope’s total usable elevation. For example, if your scope has 33 usable mils, order a 33 mil Charlie to prevent range gaps. If a target exceeds your scope’s travel, return to zero, deploy the Charlie, and dial the difference. This example yields 0 – 66 mils (33 mil Charlie + 33 mil scope).
2) Select a multiple of ‘5’ or ’10’ for simple arithmetic. For example, if your scope has 33 usable mils, order a 30 mil Charlie, prevents range gaps and having to dial at the edge of your glass, or a 35 mil Charlie and use your scope’s reticle to get a little more top-end. Ordering a 40 mil Charlie (in this example) increases the gap so if you have a target between 33 and 40 mils, you will not be able to dial it.
This technology using mirrors to shift the image you see in your scope by a specific amount has enabled some truly extreme long range shots.
TacomHQ is not the only one making such devices. Nightforce has jumped on the band wagon with their own light weight version.
Nightforce Wedge Prism (260 grams / 9.2oz )
When shooting at extreme ranges, many shooters find their riflescope lacks the necessary elevation travel. The Nightforce Wedge Prism is offered in 2 variants, 50 MOA or 100 MOA, that install forward of the riflescope to increase the effective elevation travel. The Wedge Prism optically shifts the incoming image to the riflescope by a precise elevation value, which directly adds to the available elevation travel within the riflescope. (source: nightforce.com) This means you are able to simply add an extra 50 or 100MOA of vertical adjustment to that which you already have in the scope thus by calibrating your adjustable mounts to allow about 5-10MOA below the zero, you may be left with about 110MOA on a 120MOA scope plus the 100MOA of the Nightforce Wedge Prism. This enables you to go ELR without having to change your scope. It enables you to get into ELR without the higher barrier entry. However consider that you have already bought an Eratac, a scope plus a prism device. Not a cheap run by any means but ELR is the cutting edge of the sport and saving money does not go hand in hand with ELR. However if you want to save on weight, this maybe a good route to go to on your existing scope setup.
Dedicated ELR long range scope – March Genesis 6-60×56. (1.480grams / 52.2 oz)
So what if you wanted one option to cater for your ELR needs without having to piece up multiple components? Enter the March Genesis 6-60×56 ELR scope.
That’s what we wanted to do ourselves so we contacted a few March Genesis owners before we decided to buy one. Users from the March Scopes Group were contacted for this survey.
When it came to making my own choice for the best long range scope for ELR, I took the time to take stock of all the above options and even tried and bought multiple ones to see which one works best and what I can imagine myself using. I’m hereby sharing that thought process and the people I interviewed before opting for the March Genesis 6-60×56 scope. The full review of this scope in action on the Tuscan hills in Italy may be viewed here.
This is my setup after I went through this entire survey to help me make up my mind. Seen here setup on my favourite multical platform, the Desert Tech SRS A2.
March Genesis Owners Survey
Which March Genesis Scope do you own?
Benjamin Gineste, winner of Ko1m France opted for the March Genesis for his ELR needs.
March Genesis Reticle choices
Why did you chose the March Genesis scope and what do you appreciate the most about this scope after using it? 12 replies
- Reticle is always centered in scope for optimal clarity. Scope is dialed up and down not reticle. I love the 400 MOA elevation, 300 up and 100 down
- Was interested in the concept of this scope, which seemed aimed (no pun intended) at the ELR/ULR community.
- As ELR shooter from 2k and above you all ways need lots of elevation which average good scope can Offer 25-30 mil and for this distances it’s about half the Genesis Offer’s 114 mills of elevation that good enough to any distance and you don’t need to hold over which mean that your target all way stay at the center of your reticle
- The fact this item is hand made Buy a optical engineer is kind of your guarantee of quality, But I guess the real drawcard and my true appreciation was the ultimate amount of elevation available while the shooters eye remained optically Center from zero to max Elevation.
- The quality is in top. And be able to dial all the way from 100 meter to over 3250 meter.
- J’utilise cette lunette pour savoir capacité d’ajustement. Cette partie est incroyable. La qualité optique est de bon niveau. Avec cette lunette plus besoin d’accessoires séparés de la lunette (periscope).
- I chose this scope because of the glass quality and the elevation travel that it offered
- We choose the March Genesis due to the internal elevation that allows you to shoot all into ELR distances. The magnification and clarity is unrivaled by other current ELR scopes as well.
- Huge elevation range
- March is always on my top priority because of clarity turret accuracy when it comes to ELR Genesis has max elevation option these day’s in scope world
- Lens transparency at range.
- 338lm on 2 mile needs lots of elevation
Can you give us some background about your long range shooting experience to date before choosing the March Genesis?
- I have shot 600 and 1000 yard IBS benchrest. I shoot on my private property out to 2100 yards so far. shot 2500 in Montana and was going farther the next day but the wind did not allow.
- Nil experience beyond 1200 yds. Currently building 5 rifles specifically for ELR/ULR
- I’m 4 years a long range shooter my longest target hit 3244m was with 338lm 300gr. Berger
- I’m a PRS comp shooter and enjoy hunting yet the ballistic challenge and working with environmental factors fascinate me with ELR. I should know that in my personal opinion extreme long-range is not one set distance it is taking any cartridge let it be a air rifle all the way up to a 50 calibre and shooting that cartridge or calibres maximum distance so a 22 LR at 500 m is extremely challenging and is bye definition extreme long range (for that calibre) and means you can shoot long distance on some what of a budget.
- I have been shooting ELR for more than 15 years.
- Tout l’intérêt de cette lunette se trouve dans son système interne qui permet de tirer à très longue distance sans utiliser d’outil supplémentaires (periscopes). La qualité optique de cette lunette est un atout pour la visée sur des objectifs très lointains.
- I began shooting long range in about 2006, taking various hunting rifles out to 700m. The most accurate rifle I had at the time was an old Parker Hale 243 loaded with 58 grain V-Maxes for what was then my favorite past time, coyote hunting. I got tired of coyotes that would hang up at 300 – 500 metres and not come closer – I decided to rectify this problem in the off season and built a 1000m range at the farm. Since then, long range / precision shooting has dominated the bulk of my thoughts and non-working time. I have received training from some of Canada’s top military and law enforcement personnel (retired and active), and I have attended and hosted many courses and competitions including practical field position, PRS style matches, and F-Class events. I was at the inaugural King of 2 Miles Canada in 2020 covering the event for the First Focal Plane podcast in which I am a cohost, and in 2021, my shooting partner and I competed for the first time in that event, taking third and thirteenth positions. My long range regimen will continue in 2022 with a full slate of PRS competitions as well as intense practice for the King of 2 Miles again, using the March Genesis 6-60×56.
- My wife and I have been shooting long range for many years, but we have only started competing over the last 3 years.
- Shooting in Italy, our field allows us up to 2000m only at the moment. So with 338 I’m at its limit while with 375 I’m more comfortable
- I have been 25 times National champion won Nra nationals 600m 2018 south Africa open championship 900m bronze
- Just playing around, not a real professional shooter by any means, but hope to earn the skill.
- 4 years experience 1mile-2mile
Where are the March Genesis users interviewed based?
- Near Nashville, TN USA.
- Milton Keynes, England
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Canberra Australian
- Soro, Denmark
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
- United States
- Piacenza, Italy
- Dallas, texas
- Toronto Canada
- Amsterdam Netherlands
More ELR shooters from the Swiss Alps thanks to Stefan
Which one of these best describes you as a shooter?
Clearly many March Genesis owners identified themselves as ELR shooters mainly followed by competition shooter. There’s a good chance, if you identify with one of these, the March Genesis will be a good fit for you too.
Curt Rouse competitive shooter sitting behind his March Genesis and ELR rifle. Curt said “The Genesis makes a big difference when reaching beyond 2.5km- no messing with prisms”.
Read My ELR Story of the blackbird in 375Chey topped with the March Genesis for Montana ELR!
Furthest Distance shot to date?13 responses
- 2500 yards in Montana
- 1200 yds
- 3244 m
- (2600m 338lm). (630m 22lr)
- 2 mile
- 4150 metres (2016)
- 1 mile
- 3250 m
- 1200meter now, next year on May @ 2500meter
What rifle/ calibre did you mount the March Genesis on? 13 responses
It seems that 375Chey and March Genesis go hand in hand, checkout what the respondents said below.
- It sits mainly on my 375 Cheytac. I tried it out first on my BAT BRX. I will also be used on my 284 Viper SS sus have had
- Custom build .338/.375/.416 (All XC cases)
- 338lm 22lr 6mm cm.
- Victrix Throne, 375 Chey-Tac
- 375 CT
- 33XC built on a Curtis Custom Helix with an IBI barrel
- 375 Cheytac
- 408 warlord
- Many, but the biggest one is 375
- Sako TRG-M10 308win/338lm
- 408 Cheyenne Tactical
Mark and Sam with March Genesis
If you’re into ELR, Mark and Sam after work channel is not a new name. They found the March Genesis very helpful as a one stop dedicated solution for their ELR exploits. Check it out below!
Did you try a March Genesis before purchasing this ELR rifle scope?
Interestingly most owners I surveyed had never tried one before purchasing. I reckon that the previous ownership of other March scopes owned by the vast majority of respondents was enough to convince most buyers to pull the trigger on one even though they had not tried it. Interesting point there.
“I have tried many, and all require a prism to reach beyond 1500 to 2000m depending on caliber used. The March genesis eliminates this need. As well, the design and function of the Genesis keeps the reticle optically centered, unlike conventional rifle scopes.”
Have you tried any other ELR rifle scope setup before March Genesis?
If yes, why did you opt for Genesis?13 responses
- I have a NF ATACR but I wanted the Gensis for the 400 MOA elevation to get out in the 2500 plus yard area
- Yes, various NightForce but didn’t want to change from the rifles these are mounted on.
- Way more elevation
- I have other March scopes and was using inclined rails etc
- Yes, with a Charlie TARAC, but with the March Genesis I`m able to dial all the way from 100 meter to over 3250 meter.
- J’ai essayé la plupart des lunettes existantes sur le marché. Le choix se porte sur la March Genesis pour sa modularité à très longue distance.
- I have tried many, and all require a prism to reach beyond 1500 to 2000m depending on caliber used. The March genesis eliminates this need. As well, the design and function of the Genesis keeps the reticle optically centered, unlike conventional rifle scopes.
- Because of its incredible elevation
- Yes, tried many brands but want something for the best, even if it disappoints at least I could say I’ve tried it before, which it didn’t
- Need the extra elevations to push the limits
- No, Grünig & Elmiger my rifle gunsmith has given me this super tip, saw it first time one the IWA expo
Do you see the barrel in your March Genesis?
416Garrett on Desert Tech HTI with March Genesis scope and higher mount.
- Barrel begins to enter field of view when dialed up to 3,000 yards. I have a riser that eliminates that problem.
- TBA but at 300 yds on 20MOA rail, no.
- About 60 mill of elevation
- No,,the scope has two hight amusement to chose from
- Yes, at 96 mil, but for the 2 mile I only need 64mils
- En effet, avec le 375CT je commence à voir le canon à partir de 3100 mètres. Cela nécessaire de réduire le grossissement. J’utilise le montage le plus bas pour avoir la meilleure ergonomie possible. A partir de cette lunette il faut le montage haut.
- I have not experienced this yet, as the March Genesis is mounted high enough that this has not been a problem.
- We ran the Mil Version and it depends on which rifle we had it mounted on and the barrel length of that rifle. Yes, we did run into obscured line of sight in the 60mil-80mil range. But at that number of mils dialed, you’re well past 2 miles with most cartridges at any elevation.
- Not yet
Here’s an extract from my review about the March Genesis review trials in Italy.
Having a look at my 37XC, I need 220 MOA to take it to 2miles and 27 MOA (10mph full value) That’s 4 turns on the elevation turret plus 20MOA and slightly more than half turn on windage.. I don’t get to see the barrel until I dial 230MOA. Being a bullpup design, the barrel is about 10inches inwards compared to a conventional rifle system meaning the barrel is less far out so it does not intersect with the line of sight as much. The March comes with an integral mount as well as a 2nd mount in case you want to raise the scope further up to maximize it’s travel. Personally for my rifle system and my goal this is not required. As i crank the magnification on the scope, the glare from the tip of the barrel is not showing at the bottom edge of the scope.
Checkout March Genesis Price
Hang on in there, there’s more interesting info coming to you 🙂