Best Scopes for .308: Buyers Guide

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Described as one of the best hunting rifle cartridges in the US, the .308 Winchester is popular with medium-sized and big game hunters. Rifle manufacturers have competed to make the best firearm for the .308 round, and NATO even morphed it into their standard 7.62.

The .308 cartridges reputation is confirmed by the many tactical and hunting scenarios, while its pricing makes it an economically attractive round for shooters.

Why is there a Preference for the .308 round?

The .308 round is versatile for long-range accuracy, up to 200 yards. When on the hunt, you want to maximize the .308s effectiveness with the best rifle, but more so by using the best scope. 

For over 70 years, Winchester continued to deliver battlefield power into your hands with the versatile .308 cartridge. This round has terminal ballistics that is exceptional and is consistent, behaving predictably in harsh or windy weather conditions.

Consistency equals accuracy, and the .308 doesn’t punish your shooting, performing excellently to penetrate targets at short, medium, or long ranges. 

What is the Best Scope for the .308 round?

There is no point in firing a long-range shot if you are unable to focus on the target accurately. The best scopes for .308 rifle bullets make for an enjoyable hunt.

The .308 round is interchangeable with many rifle types, and you need a scope that can match up to both the firearm and the round. 

When you rely on a precise shot environment with a .308 long-range round, the best scopes include;

Overall Best Scope for the .308 

Vortex Optics Diamondback 1. 75-5×32 

This is the overall best scope for your .308, combining a reasonable price tag with excellent optics. 

The Vortex Diamondback is an excellent scope for your .308. It’s the overall best scope you can get as it combines excellent optics for a reasonable price. A high performing model of the Vortex line, the Diamondback is a sturdy scope that takes heavy recoil beating and abuse during hunting trips.

With its one inch tube, the vortex diamondback scope magnifies 1.75 to 6 X, allowing for long and close distance shots. At higher magnifications, the scope utilizes a 42 mm diameter objective lens for vibrant clarity. 

The Diamondback’s reticle is set on the 2nd focal plane, providing brilliance across the magnification spectrum due to its multi-coated glass. Thus scope is water, shock, and fog proof, holding zero with the recoil associated with .308 caliber rifles.  

While staying in line with other scopes of its range, the Vortex scope has a Field of View of 28.8 ft. and 8.2 ft. at 100 yards. A 4-inch eye-relief and the capped turrets mitigate accidental changes.

Long-distance adjustments for elevation and wind are in quarter steps up to 90 MOA for each range, accessing parallax removal and image focus from 30 yards. A pocket-friendly price and the Vortex rifle scope unlimited warranty ensures that with the Diamondback ‘, what you see is what you get.’ 

Pros:

  • Exceptional clarity and glass coating
  • Design material perfection and quality
  • Vortex rifle scope lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • it’s quite heavy

Product Summary 

If you are looking to hit the trails early, this is the scope to take along with your .308 caliber rifle. A lightweight scope, the Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32, is rugged but precise, with a BDC dead hold that offers self-dialing caliber effects.

Best Scope for Hunters

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm

The VX Freedom is one of Leupold’s best hunting scopes for the.30 cartridge. This scope comes with low-light condition super clarity, which has endeared it to hunters that encounter less than perfect shooting light.

You acquire your target through a clear, vivid image with this VX Freedom scope. Conventional Leupold’s multi-coated glass lenses provide glass clarity and glare reduction.

Adjust your elevation and windage while keeping your target in focus, using a single finger for ¼ MOA for every click. You can get 52 MOA for each range, and depending on magnification will get eye-relief of 3.7 to 4.2 inches for the scopes ranges. 

At 100 yards, the Freedom 3-9X40mm‘s Field of View will range from 34.6 ft. at 3X magnification and 14.6 ft. at 9X magnification. 

Pros:

  • Low light capability is impressive
  • Clarity and vivacity of images
  • Glare reduction from lens edge blackening
  • Constructed sturdily

Cons:

  • Not harsh weatherproofed as dials can freeze in the cold
  • Product summary 

Product Summary 

Leupold is known for timeless features such as fully multi-coated glass lenses and HD optical prisms. Their VX Freedom 3-9X40mm scope demonstrates excellent simplicity for the price. A versatile 3 -9×40 mm magnification layout is conducive to deer or general hunting.

The scope pairs perfectly with .308 rifles for a game less than 500 yards.

Best Long-Range Scope for the .308

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 4-16×44

The Vortex Viper HS-T is a rock-solid scope that provides some of the best optics at reasonable pricing. It doesn’t hurt either that the HS-T 4-16x44mm scope is armed with Vortex’s unlimited warranty.

Multi-purpose hunting, tactical, and shooting range scope, the Viper HS-T provides long-distance magnification with excellent clarity. Made from one complete piece of high-grade aluminum, this scope’s tube has a 30 mm diameter.

Image clarity and vivacity are achieved through its 50 mm objective lens, which allows enough light for target acquisition. To guarantee the passage of enough lighting, Vortex makes the HS-T with a glass of extra-low dispersion, multi-coated for reflection and glare reduction.

Scoping the Viper’s reticle is on the 2nd focal plane, and you can use MRAD or MOA measurements with the scopes VMR-1 reticle. 

Acquiring targets and making shots at long distances with the .308 cartridge is improved by this scope’s highest magnification picture clarity. 

Pros:

  • Material quality in construction
  • Windage and elevation cross-hair markings
  • Explicitly designed for long-range shooting
  • Adjustments are extra-precise
  • An MOA center dot feature 
  • Eye-relief is outstanding 

Cons:

  • 24X magnification reported as having unclear images by some hunters
  • Reference lines for MRAD cross-hairs a bit long in comparison to competing models
  • Pricey in comparison to similar featured brands

Product Summary

Vortex is renowned as a forward-thinking and innovative scope maker, and the Viper HS is one of the premium products. The Viper HS-T 4-16x44mm is manufactured from a single piece of aviation-grade aluminum, making it the perfect long-range hunter’s scope.

Most Affordable Scope for .308 

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

When it comes to measuring scopes and distance instruments, Bushnell is a pioneer and leader in the industry. With scopes that tick all the boxers, the Drop Zone BDC from Bushnell AR is a top-rated choice along with the .308 for many hunters.

To correct parallax at long ranges, the Bushnell AR has a side focus options that are effective for any shooting range. Shooting with the long-range .308 rounds is far easier with the BDC scope, providing accuracy and stability for targets more than 500 yards.

A caliber specified reticle delivers precision for every round, and the target turret is a stand-out feature allowing for high target acquisition adjustments. Long-distance shooting is augmented by this Bushnell AR, wit value assistance that adjusts a quarter MOA for every click. 

The scope’s multi-coated BDC reticle offers outstanding brightness and clarity in poorly lit hunting conditions. Your target appears to be a clear, crisp image within the sharpness, focusing eyepiece that helps when you have to acquire targets quickly.

Magnify 4.5 to 18 times every 100 yards with the Drop Zone BDC scope, upping your long-range hunting and shooting considerably.

Pros:

  • HD clarity optics with rain guard
  • Parallax correcting side focus
  • Durable design and construction
  • Eyepiece designed for fast focus target acquisition
  • Calibrated Drop Zone-223 BDC Ballistic Reticle
  • Optics multi-coated for improved lighting

Cons:

  • Long-distance image focus is sometimes a challenge
  • Eye relief reported by some hunters as not comfortable

Product Summary

This scope has excellent glass quality, and the manufacture believes in advanced better grading for its light-speed market scopes. The Bushnell Drop Zone 4.5-18X40mm scope has superior optics, and its controls are user-friendly.

Best Low-Light Scope for the .308

Nikon Prostaff P3 Predator Hunter BDC Predator Riflescope

Many positive reviews have always followed Nikon scope products, and their best scope when hunting with a .308 is the Prostaff P3 Predator. A successor to the highly popular Predator Riflescope line, this second generation scope has a lot more enjoyable features.

Featuring a 40 mm objective lens, the Nikon Prostaff P3 Predator effortlessly allows light for low-lighted hunting scenarios. There is ample room between this scope and your rifle, seeing as it has a glass width of 4mm. 

The lens has a 3 to 9 X magnification and is perfect for long-range hunting, heightened by the HD quality of bright images. Its eye relief can somewhat be problematic for shooters that need spectacles, but the Nikon scope makes up for it with maximized light transmission. 

When you need fast target acquisition, use the rapid focus feature to lock in and keep zero with the sturdily constructed Prostaff P3 Predator. Water and fog proofing is achieved with optic chambers that are nitrogen purged and sealed with O-rings.

Anti-reflective compounds cover the scopes glass surfaces to provide bright, vivid images with optimal layers of light-transmission for all hunting or tactical situations. 

Positive click reticles hold zero in quick acquisition settings, providing sustained setting even under heavy .309 recoil exposure. A spot on the dot will ensure precise aim on the scope’s reticle from a range of yardages, matching specified ammo loads.

The Nikon scope withstands abuse and impact associated with hunts, sustaining no damage whatsoever even when shooting the .308 slug. A limited lifetime warranty accompanies all Nikon scopes; giving you peace of mind should problems arise with your Prostaff P3 Predator scope.

Pros:

  • Has a BDC Predator reticle
  • Single piece aviation-grade aluminum construction
  • Compensation markers for open circle ranges
  • Nitrogen purged optic chambers that are O-ring sealed
  • Nikon’s limited lifetime warranty 
  • Quick Focus eyepiece

Cons:

  • Short eye-relief
  • Rings not included with the Nikon scope

Product Summary

This is a great scope, particularly if you are looking at perfected 500 yards and on-shot consistency. Most hunters confess of ultimate satisfaction with the Prostaff P3 Predator’s responses and would not see the need to upgrade soon. That’s until Nikon unveils a new generation of the definitive scope.

Best Field of View Scope for .308

Vortex Optics Crossfire II, 2-7×32 SFP Riflescope

Vortex scopes are being reliable, high quality, and affordable. Their best Field of View scope has to be the Crossfire II, a suitable option for big game .308 hunting.

Within low magnifications, the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7X32 features coated clear glass lenses not only offer the widest FoV but on the same level with scopes that are price higher. However, the scope is susceptible to blurring around image edges at magnifications higher than 6 or 7 X.  

You can easily observe your peripheral surroundings with this scope, and target acquisition in dawn or dusk light is satisfactory. You can use the Crossfire II’s standard BDC reticle for the holdovers, measuring each of your drop marks when combined with a Strelok smartphone app. 

A zero-resettable scope, this SFP for the .308 ammo has finger adjustability, but the turrets aren’t very precise, typical of scopes in its price class. Generous eye-relief is provided within the somewhat minimal eye-box, and the scope responds stably against the Winchester rounds recoil. 

Pros:

  • Wide value-adding Field of View  
  • Budget-friendly
  • Low magnification clarity is brilliant
  • Reliable limited lifetime vortex warranty

Cons:

  • A bit on the weighty side for mountain or heavy rifle hunting
  • Images have blurred edges on the 6X and 7X magnifications

Product Summary 

Take the guesswork out of long-range hunting targets, where elevation adjustments or windage can be tricky to dial-in. Vortex’s BDC will take the effort and ensures that your sots are precise and accurate at a variety of distances with Crossfire II.

Best Shockproof Scope for the .308

UTG 4-16X50 1″ Hunter Scope

Due to a nitrogen-filled tube that’s airtightly sealed, the scope is rain, shock, and fog proof.

For your hunting or professional shooting, the UTG 4-16X50 1″ Hunter Scope brings compactness and quality when using the .308 cartridge. Precise and efficient for its price range, this scope has optics conversant with the AR-10 and AR-15, as well as other .308 rifles. 

The UTG scope makes both hunting and shooting easier. It comes with advanced beneficial features such as the personalize multi-color and illumination. A 36 color spectrum will match all your lighting and environmental requirements, and the reticle contains built-in illumination enhancement.  

A low-light performer, the best trait for the UTG 4-16X50 1″ Hunter Scope, is its shock, water, and fog proof-ness, and its angled anti-glare sunshade provided by the multi-colored lenses. This scope makes it easy to make adjustments while on the field, promoting high accuracy target acquisition and aim. 

Zero resettings and locking of target turrets make for genuine durability, strength for uninterrupted performance when using the .308 slug. Limitless parallax adjustments are possible with the scope, contributing to your shots’ accuracy despite the range of targets.

The only major drawback with the UTG 4-16X50 1″ Hunter Scope is its weight. When added to heavy-duty .308 firing rifles, can be shoulder sagging.

Pros: 

  • Tactical range estimating scope
  • Guaranteed of performance even under low-light
  • True Strength platform build
  • Water, fog and shockproof, contributing to overall durability and strength
  • Supports personalized multi-color and illumination
  • Limitless parallax adjustment features
  • Compact size 

Cons:

  • On the heavier side

Product Summary 

With this scope’s illuminated range reticle, estimating distances is easy for novices and beginners. The UTG 4-16X50 1″ Hunter Scope is water and fog-proof using a nitrogen-purged O-ring seal.  However, its weight tips the scale at 26 ounces but is still conducive for pairing with most sniping .308 rifles.

How to Zero Your .308 Scope

Ensure that your selected scope is zeroed. Zeroing is the adjustment of your scope so that it’s consistent with the rifle, range, and target that you are planning on.  

Since your ultimate goal is to hit targets accurately, steps to take as a crucial step of zeroing your scope include;

  1. Place the scope and barrel of your rifle in alignment, preferably using a laser bore-sight. Start trying for the bulls-eye at 20 and then 50 yards, by lining up the round view with the inner target circle. Ensure that the results are in agreement with your scope and barrel views. 
  2. Fine-tune your scope for long distances after the 25 to 50 yard zeroing. Point of impact, distance, and load are the factors that you should consider at this point. Zero the distance at 100 yards, and the .308s slug weight when carrying to the shot is your load.Game hunters zero their scopes for 100 yards when hunting with the .308.
  3. Practice a few shots, aiming a bit higher each time you hit the target by around 2 inches. Use these as the exact measurements when determining the adjustments required for a target hit at 100 yards. 
  4. Adjusting zero requires the same support you use for your shooting each time, such as a rifle stand or sandbag. You need to readjust zero when your firing support changes, and especially when working with a .308 rifle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most reliable range for the .308?

At around 1100 yards, the .308 bullet becomes transonic depending on the load, after being fired from a rifle. The crossing-over stage from supersonic to subsonic causes the round to lose accuracy and stability.

For 1000 yard marksmanship, the .308 is the best caliber for reliable accuracy without diminished stability. 

Which are the recommended scope magnifications for target acquisition with a .308?

Depending on the application, the .308 is effective at scope magnifications of 3X, 4X up to 9X on a variable power sight that large game hunters prefer. Tactical or hunt applications that require precision will see the efficiency with magnifications of 8X to 12X, while other applications will vary.

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