The .308 Winchester is an all-around cartridge which you could use for a variety of purpose like hunting, competitive shooting,…Shooters around the globe love the round as it’s quite affordable, easy to reload and produce relatively reasonable recoil. Due to these excellent characteristics, there are numerous weapons that utilize the .308 from civilian hunting rifle to military grade firearms. In the usual case, the original sights of .308-chambered rifles should allow you to achieve an adequate level of accuracy. However, if you want to maximize the potentials of the Winchester cartridge, you have to get the best .308 rifle scope.
That being said, there are way too many rifle scopes on the market nowadays so securing the best scope for .308 is not an easy task. Furthermore, .308-chambered rifles are not always similar to each other, it’s difficult to locate the right scope for both the round and your rifle. Fortunately, if you are confused by the number of options and could use some guidance, this article is for you. Down below you would find the specification and reviews of some of the best .308 rifle scope models on the market. Aside from that, a comprehensive list of important shopping criteria is also present to help you make a wise purchase.
Table of contents
- 1 Top 5 Best Tactical Scope For .308 Rifles for Hunting
- 2 Shopping For The Best .308 Scope: What You Have To Check
Top 5 Best Tactical Scope For .308 Rifles for Hunting
1/ Nikon M-308 – Best Nikon scope for 308
- Magnification: 4 – 16x
- Lens Diameter: 42 Millimeters
- Dimension: 13.5 x 1 x 1.9 Inches
- Weight: 1.2 Pounds
Carefully calibrated for the .308 Winchester/7.62 x 51mm NATO, Nikon M-308 is held in high regard by experts and experienced shooters. Featuring 4 – 16x magnification power, the Nikon rifle scope performs with distinction in long range shooting. As the lenses of the scope are fully multi-coated, you should be able to acquire sharp and crisp target images in any light conditions. Thanks to the use of pressurized nitrogen gas and O-rings in the tube, the scope is fogproof and waterproof.
In term of operation, the turrets of Nikon M-308 utilize a tactical design which offers solid and audible adjustment clicks. A quick reset function is present as well so you could return to zero after making temporary adjustments between shots. Equipped with a built-in spring system, the Nikon rifle scope proves highly resistant to recoil as well as vibrations. The knobs are cushioned and that means there is no need to worry about refocusing. Nikon backs the scope with a lifetime warranty with talk a lot about its longevity.
- Robust operation
- Precise BDC reticle
- Well made and rugged
- No mount included
- Mediocre quality control
2/ Vortex Optics Crossfire – Best vortex scope for 308
- Magnification: 6 – 24x
- Lens Diameter: 50 Millimeters
- Dimension: 14.5 x 2 x 1.7 Inches
- Weight: 2 Pounds
Featuring a tough one-piece construction and fully multi-coated lenses, Vortex Optics Crossfire is the best .308 rifle scope when it comes to magnification power. At 6 – 24x magnification, the scope should be able to help you land shots on targets at extreme distances without issues. In order to help you make accurate holdover estimates, the Vortex Optics scope employs an efficient Dead-Hold BDC reticle. The reticle hash marks truly simplify the task of compensating bullet drop and wind drift.
Due to the incorporation of O-rings and nitrogen purging gas, you would not experience water and fog-related problems while using Vortex Optics Crossfire. The sizable lens of the scope could gather lots of light so you should have an easy time scanning for targets in low light conditions. Besides that, the fast focus eyepiece allows you to focus the reticle with relative ease. Since the scope capped turrets could be adjusted with your fingertips, it’s simple to make changes at moment notice.
- Forgiving eye box
- Great endurance/resistance
- High magnification power
- Turret malfunctions are reported
- Slightly blurry at high magnification settings
3/ Leupold VX2 – Best Leupold scope for 308
- Magnification: 3 – 9x
- Lens Diameter: 40 Millimeters
- Dimension: 12.4 x 3 x 3 Inches
- Weight: 0.7 Pounds
If you are in need of the best tactical scope for .308 rifles, you must take a look at Leupold VX2. Dependable and reliable, the Leupold scope is one of the best accessories for .308-chambered rifles. While the 3 – 9x magnification power is not impressive, it still allows the average shooters to achieve consistent hits within 500 yards. In order to minimize glare and distortion, the edges of the scope lenses are blackened. Furthermore, the lenses also feature high endurance DiamondCoat coatings which keep them well protected from abrasive elements on the field.
For the scope reticle, Leupold VX2 selects a straightforward and basic duplex style so it works very well for hunters. Since the Leupold scope is a Second Focal Plane (SFP) model, the reticle size would remain the same as you cycle through the magnification settings. Given the fact that the cope eye relief is generous, you could shoot with precision in a variety of positions. About the mechanism, the scope uses rugged fingertip adjustable knobs, each click equal to 1/4 MOA.
- Hold zero well
- Reasonable price tag
- Excellent customer service
- Less than ideal shipping
- Some people complaints about receiving damaged products
4/ Bushnell AR Optics – Best budget scope for 308
- Magnification: 4.5 – 18x
- Lens Diameter: 40 Millimeters
- Dimension: 12 x 10 x 6 Inches
- Weight: 1.8 Pounds
Reliable and dependable, Bushnell AR Optics is a great choice for firearms chamber in .308 Winchester. In term of magnification, the Bushnell scope performs well in medium to long range shootings thanks to its power settings. Taking the ballistic characteristics of the .308 round, the scope Drop Zone 308 BDC reticle shall help you achieve a reasonable level of accuracy out to 500 yards. Similar to other designs around, the scope utilizes fully multi-coated lenses which keep the target images bright and clear.
In order to eliminate parallax, Bushnell AR Optics is equipped with a side focus knob. By using the side focus knob, you could to correct the scope parallax and reduce sighting errors without much difficulty. About the adjustment, the turrets of the Bushnell scope permits you to make accurate changes with their 1/4 MOA click value. As the scope tube is made from high-grade aluminum alloy, it could handle a lot of abuse without fail. Moreover, a combination of O-rings and nitrogen let the scope function in challenging environments.
- Quality lenses
- Tough and light
- Adjustable parallax
- Inconsistent performance
- Eye relief is slightly limited
5/ UTG SWAT – Best 308 scope for the money
- Magnification: 3 – 12x
- Lens Diameter: 44 Millimeters
- Dimension: 0.4 x 1.6 x 2.1 Inches
- Weight: 1.45 Pounds
For people that are shopping on a tight budget, UTG SWAT would be an excellent option in most of the case. While the UTG scope is not a top-of-the-line design, it’s nonetheless a solid product that could last for quite some time. One innovate feature of the rifle scope is that it pair the mildot reticle with a unique 36 color illumination system. Thanks to that, you could successfully hit your targets in any imaginable weather and environment.
When it comes to adjustment, UTG SWAT excels with its rugged and user-friendly turrets. The turrets are lockable/resettable which mean you could put them to good use in a wide variety of situations. In addition to that, the use of True Strength platform guarantee that all adjustment remain precise as time goes by. To make sure that your shooting experience is unaffected by parallax, the scope comes with a convenient side focus knob.
- Compact and light
- Well designed turrets
- Quality control should be improved
- There are a couple of focus issues
Shopping For The Best .308 Scope: What You Have To Check
Depending on the field performance of the scope, its price tag could go as low as $50 and as high as $3,000. Generally speaking, unless you have sophisticated demands, there is no need to make your scope purchase a bank-breaking investment. As long as you are willing to look around, you should be able to come across quality and affordable products. However, you must remember the rule of thumb here: “You get what you pay for”. It’s unrealistic to expect crystal-clear images and pinpoint accuracy from dirt cheap scopes.
It goes without saying that you must take good care of your scope and refrain from treating it too roughly. Nonetheless, it’s still a very good idea to grab a model that could handle a beating without falling apart. For people that have to regularly shoot in less than ideal conditions, fragile rifle scopes would not stand a chance. For most of the time, you should ensure that your scope is waterproof, shockproof and fogproof to optimize your experience. Exam and inspect available scopes to determine their endurance /resistance.
Ease Of Use
It’s definitely tempting to get a scope that comes with a lot of features but you must take your needs and requirements into account. For instance, if you need a basic short range scope, why bother wasting money on a complex long range scope. In any case, you have to thoroughly assess the rifle scope you about to get and see whether you could master its operation or not. The last thing you ever want to experience is to get stuck with a scope that you don’t know how to manipulate and adjust.
There are basic 3 styles of reticle pattern available for you to choose from: Duplex, Mildot and BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator). There are also a couple of illuminated reticles specifically designed for people who have to shoot in low light conditions. Each style possesses its own advantages and disadvantages so you have to choose one that suits your taste the most.
- Duplex: A basic style that simplifies the process of target acquisition. Possessing thick lines that become thinner as they converge at the center, duplex reticle let hunters focus on moving targets at moment notice without fail.
- Mildot: From the first glance, mildot reticles are similar to duplex ones but they have a couple of dots to help shooters with the range finding. Using the dots, you should be able to estimate the target distance and compensate for bullet drop and wind drift.
- BDC: As you already know, bullets travel in a curved trajectory so if you want to hit targets at long ranges, you have to aim high. BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) styles reticles provide you with a way to tell how high you must aim to make the bullets land on targets.
In order to choose the best magnification setting for your scope, you need to think about your usual shooting distance. Long range shooting requires the use of high power scopes but if you mostly shoot at short to medium range, using a high power scope may lead to blur images. Here are some range-power suggestions you could use to select an appropriate rifle scope. You have to consider your shooting skill and the propellant of your .308 rounds as well.
Short Range (0 – 150 Yards)
At such range, you are advised to use a 1 – 6x rifle scopes and so on to obtain high contrast images. It’s pretty hard for you to shoot accurately using a high power scope when the targets are so close.
Medium Range (150 – 300 Yards)
To ordinary hunters, this is the best shooting distance for a rifle chambered in .308 Winchester. Shooting from further away may cause injuries to the animals instead of putting them down. Therefore, if you want to achieve quick and clean kills, the magnification power of your scope should be around 6 – 9x
Long Range (300 – 500 Yards)
In long range shooting, you must use rifle scopes that have high magnification settings to acquire and observe your targets. The smaller the targets, the more magnification you need and that is why you should go for 10x and above.
Exposed Turrets Vs Capped Turrets
If you are a tactical shooter and prefer to make all corrections on the spot, you should use exposed turrets. The ease of access offered by exposed turrets in general is essentially second to none. On the other hand, if you to avoid unintended changes to your scope settings, capped turrets are what you need. In contrast with exposed turrets, capped turrets often require a bit of time and effort in order to apply adjustments. No matter what kind of turrets you use, make sure that they let you make precise elevation and windage changes.