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Best Scope for 308: Top 9 Picks for Long-Range Shooting

Best Scope for 308

On the hunt for the best long-range scope for your 308? Or maybe for a close to mid-range one?

You’ve come to the right place.

I’ve rounded up some of the best scopes in the industry and arranged them by their best use, so you can find the perfect one for your needs!

Ready to hunt for a scope? Let’s get started.

Best Value
Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm 1
Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm
Best Overall
NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm
Best Budget Pick
Athlon Optics Argos BTR Generation 2 6-24×50

The Best Scope for .308: Top 9 Picks

1. NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm

OVERALL BEST SCOPE FOR 308

NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm

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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 17.87 x 5.04 x 4.33 inches
  • Weight: 3.11 Pounds
  • Style: ‎Center Only Illumination Forceplex Reticle
  • Second focal plane reticle

Crystal Clear Image

The NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm is equipped with a 56mm objective lens, giving you as much shooting light through your lens as possible.

It has an entire magnification range from 5x to 20x, making it ideal for extreme long-range shooting from 1000 yards and up without any glass distortion!

All that, plus it’ll give you a bright and excellent sight picture. I was able to use this scope even in low-light environments like dawn and dusk!

This lens also delivers excellent performance at both short and long-ranges, so it’s a great scope for precision shooting as well.

Zero Set Technology

The NightForce boasts an elevation adjustment of up to 80 MOA!

Plus, the Zero Set feature lets you INSTANTLY return to your initial zero setting, no matter how many elevation adjustments you make.

Its side parallax adjustment turret also complements a pair of windage and elevation adjustment turrets!

Pros
  • Amazing clarity
  • Durable
  • Excellent repair service when the need arises
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • On the pricier side

2. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm

BEST SCOPE FOR 308 FOR VALUE

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm

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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: ‎14 x 4 x 3 inches
  • Weight: ‎0.63 Pounds
  • Style: ‎Duplex (170680)
  • Second focal plane

Duplex Reticle

This high-quality scope comes with a fast-focus eyepiece which lets you quickly focus your reticle so that you can EASILY achieve locked-on target acquisition.

Excellent Glass

The Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm features multi-coated lenses, providing you outstanding image clarity AT ALL TIMES.

And because the lenses are multi-coated, they can also withstand abrasion, minimize glare, and increase light transmission through your lenses.

Durable

The Leupold is also 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum, making it weatherproof and ready to withstand constant harsh recoil.

I know that the weather can change for the worse on hunting days.

But whether you’re facing rain, fog, shock, or moisture out in the field, your Leupold rifle scope is READY for whatever comes your way!

Pros
  • 100% waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof
  • Generous eye relief
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Target style turrets can still be improved

3. Athlon Optics Argos BTR Generation 2 6-24×50

BEST BUDGET SCOPE FOR 308

Athlon Optics Argos BTR Generation 2 6-24x50

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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Weight: 51.2 Ounces
  • Style: ‎APLR2 FFP IR MOA
  • First focal plane reticle

High-Quality Optics

Equipped with Advanced Fully-Multi Coated Optics that reduces reflected light and increases light transmission, this hunting scope for 308 delivers brighter, clearer images even in low-light environments.

The exterior lenses are also further coated with exclusive XPL coating that protects them from harsh weather conditions, outside dirt, scratches, and even grease from your hands!

Precision Zero Stop System

Want accurate shots over long distances? This scope is up to the task!

With the zero stop system, I found it quick and easy to return to my zero point and dial it back in. It’s crisp and accurate.

The reticle also has a large illuminated center with 1 MOA hash mark increments and drop lines in 5 MOA increments vertically down to 40 MOA.

All of these marks should let you lock on to targets easily, even at long ranges. It’s accurate even at 1000 yards on a 4x magnification setting!

6061t6 Aircraft-Grade Aluminum

With this material, you know this long-range scope is well-built. The aluminum is heat-treated and has also been argon purged.

This means that all moisture has been purged, so you can be assured of superior waterproofing and weatherproofing. It also has more thermal stability!

Pros
  • Beginner-friendly — it's a great entry-level scope
  • Weather-friendly
  • Can hit accurately even at 1000 yards
  • Multi-coated lenses
Cons
  • Shorter eye relief

4. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56

BEST SCOPE FOR 308 IN LOW-LIGHT ENVIRONMENTS

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12x56

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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 2 x 1.73 inches
  • Weight: 1.3 Pounds
  • Style: ‎AO Hog Hunter; V-Brite
  • Second focal plane

V-Brite Illuminated MOA BDC Reticle

This Vortex Optics rifle scope is ideal for hunters and low-light shooters as you can see MORE!

This is thanks to its big objective lenses and V-Plex format, and its handy battery-powered electronics to illuminate the center dot.

I also like this scope because its lenses are equipped with anti-reflective coatings, a main scope tube of 30 mm, and an oversized 56 mm objective lens!

Weatherproof

With its nitrogen-purged and O-ring-sealed design, the Vortex scope for 308 can withstand any weather and harsh environmental conditions.

It’s waterproof and fog proof!

Best Target Acquisition

This Vortex Optics rifle scope has a 3-12x magnification range, generous eye relief, and an ultra-forgiving eye box.

It helped me spot targets and focus on images faster than ever, even during dawn and dusk hunting hours!

Long Eye Relief

This Vortex Optics scope has an eye relief of 4 inches!

That’s more generous than what most scopes offer (sometimes at 3 inches), so it reduces the chance of getting scope bite even with heavy recoil.

Pros
  • Adjustable objective lens gives you image focus and parallax removal 
  • Lifetime warranty
  • User-friendly and easy-access controls
  • O-ring-sealed
Cons
  • Significantly heavier than other rifle scopes

5. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope

BEST FOR TACTICAL SHOOTING

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope

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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: ‎14 x 4 x 4 inches
  • Weight: ‎2 Pounds
  • First focal plane scope

Built Like a Tank

Similar to its predecessors, this Primary Arms scope has the same rugged and durable construction, complete with an anodized finish. 

It’s made of a heavy-duty 6063 aircraft-grade aluminum body and is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.

This tactical scope from Primary Arms is FFP and packed with cool features that I found useful.

Unbeatable ACSS HUD DMR  Reticle

I think the best part of this long-range scope isn’t the illuminated reticle, but the ACSS HUD technology.

It’s difficult to find this in any other long-range scope in this price range!

The glass is super clear, very easy to use, and ranges beyond 100 yards. It also has a 4-14x variable magnification range for easy target engagement.

The glass also has 3 methods of ranging your target and windage, plus there are leading indicators for a moving target and also a BDC reticle.

What’s more, gauging distance, moving targets, and everything else can ALL be done using the reticle instead of having to use the turrets!

Pros
  • Heavy-duty construction and affordable
  • Exposed target style turrets with Zero-Reset
  • Crystal clear glass and good scope zoom
  • 6 brightness settings
Cons
  • Magnification adjustment can be a little stiff

6. Nikon M-Tactical .308 4-16x42SF

BEST SCOPE SPECIFICALLY MADE FOR 308

Nikon M-Tactical .308 4-16x42SF

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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: ‎15 x 3.7 x 3.1 inches
  • Weight: 2 Pounds
  • Style: M-TACTICAL .308 MATTE BDC800
  • Second focal plane

Contender for the Best Scope for 308

Specifically engineered for the 308 Winchester/7.62 NATO round, the Nikon M-tactical has a flexible zoom range.

I’d STRONGLY recommend it if you’re looking to make medium-range to long-range shots.

It’s also fitted with superior quality lenses that’ll give you excellent sharpness and a brilliant image even in low light conditions, with perfect image clarity and no distortion across the entire field of view from edge to edge!

The lenses are also multi-coated and get a lot of light transmission (up to 95 to 98%).

Side Focus Parallax Adjustment

Thanks to the turret-mounted knobs, tactical shooters can now adjust without changing the shooting position.

The turrets are also spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets with coarse knurling. Plus, these turrets also have built-in locking and zeroing mechanisms.

Any exposed turrets are also engraved for MAXIMUM READABILITY, which helped me adjust them repeatedly and smoothly at the shooting range.

And you also get elevated windage and elevation turrets!

Most Durable Scopes Out There

And like all the best scopes from Nikon, this M-tactical for medium ranges is sturdy and made to last you for years.

It’s waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof for whatever environmental conditions you’ll face.

Pros
  • Fast focus eyepiece 
  • Long eye relief
  • Built-in locking and zeroing mechanisms
  • 800 BDC Reticle
Cons
  • Not that good for long-distance shots

7. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart

BEST DIGITAL SCOPE

ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart

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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 14.9 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 Pounds
  • Magnification: 5-20x

4K Pro Smart Ultra HD Sensor

If you’re looking for an excellent digital scope, allow me to present the ATN X-Sight. It’s fitted with a Dual Core processor with a low-light 4K sensor.

This can enhance light transmission for better image sensitivity and automatically adjusts to your environment’s light conditions and the distance from your target!

Hunting at night or in low light conditions? This great scope can accompany you!

With its Enhanced Night Vision mode, it’s not just good enough for low-light transmission but also for pitch-black hunting grounds.

These hunting scopes can bring hidden prey into view and gives you a sharp focus for effortless target acquisition and an accurate shot.

Customizable Profiles

Not the only one using this scope for 308? No problem!

This digital scope comes with 6 customizable profiles for long-range hunters where you can set up your own account customized for your range, angle to target, temperature, and humidity.

It automatically adjusts the center point of your reticle with its very own Ballistics Calculator. Now that’s something only a digital scope can give you!

Feature-Packed

And of course, as a smart scope, it has WAY more features than your traditional scope will ever have, no matter how much you upgrade it.

These include a recoil-activated video, a recording feature at 120 FPS, Wi-Fi Dual-Streaming, Smart Mil-Dot Reticle, ATN Radar, and a built-in Ballistics Calculator.

Despite all that, I found that this scope looks and feels EXACTLY the same as a traditional one.

No one will be able to tell it apart from others when you’re already out there in the field.

Pros
  • Long eye relief
  • Amazing night vision
  • Traditional design and feel
  • Has "smart" features (that you will NEVER find in traditional ones)
Cons
  • Some users report memory card issues

8. UTG 3-12×44 30mm Compact Scope

BEST COMPACT SCOPE

UTG 3-12x44 30mm Compact Scope

BUYING OPTIONS:
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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 10.39 x 1.57 x 2.09 inches
  • Weight: 1.45 Pounds
  • Style: ‎Platform, Tactical
  • Second focal plane

Multicoated Emerald Lenses

This gives the glass better durability and makes the contrast of colors through the scope’s lenses more vibrant.

I appreciated this scope’s integrated angled front sunshade with flip-open lens caps. It helped me protect the lenses whenever I was hunting in open fields or on sunny days.

And even though the scope itself is smaller than other scopes, the objective lens you get is still 30mm!

So you still get lots of light transmission, a better image, and more details through your lenses.

36 Colors Mil-Dot

This scope’s also custom-built, and the illuminated reticle has 36 colors to choose from.

You can even change the color and brightness settings easily in just 1 click, depending on your preferences or your shooting environment.

That’s not all! The illumination will also never run out of power because it has its own circuit and housing!

Built on a Strength Platform

Made of aircraft-grade aluminum, this scope is nitrogen-filled and sealed, making it waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof.

It’s also very durable and one of the toughest scopes in the market.

With the excellent quality it provides for years to come, I think it can easily beat any other high-end scope out there in terms of value.

Pros
  • Lifetime warranty and excellent customer service
  • Top tier illuminated reticle
  • Built for hard and rugged use
  • Great overall value
Cons
  • Parallax adjustment wheel can be a bit stiff

9. Monstrum G3 1-6×24 FFP Rifle Scope

BEST CLOSE TO MEDIUM DISTANCE SHOOTING

Monstrum G3 1-6x24 FFP Rifle Scope

BUYING OPTIONS:
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Specifications:

  • Dimensions: ‎12.48 x 5.67 x 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • First focal plane

FFP Illuminated Reticle

The Monstrum G3 features a red illuminated reticle with 11 levels of adjustable brightness settings for more clarity and reticle visibility, especially during dawn or dusk when light is low.

There’s also an etched black reticle that I found very reliable, even when it wasn’t illuminated.

This made it easier for me to estimate my target range and correct my holdover position!

The  1-6x magnification range is easy to read and user-friendly, making it the ideal tactical scope for targets at medium to close range.

Ergonomic Design

This scope’s adjustment buttons are made of brass, for smoother and more convenient adjustments.

The Monstrum G3 is also packed with 1/2 MOA/click windage & elevation adjustments with zero reset and turret locks so your fingers will never slip.

Fully Multicoated Lenses

With ALL lenses in this scope multi-coated, glare and light reflection are significantly reduced while capturing more light at the same time.

Additionally, this coating’s also scratchproof!

Durable Scope Construction

Another scope that’s built for rugged and hard use!

The Monstrum G3c body is made of aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum.

It’s nitrogen charged to make it water, shock, and fog-resistant, then given a hard-anodized finish for the ultimate weather-proofing.

I found it ready for whatever environmental conditions I brought it to!

Pros
  • Crystal clear sights
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Fast and competent customer service
  • Durable build and smooth finish
Cons
  • Reticle alignment can still be improved
  • Minimum magnification range of only 1x– 4x

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Rifle Scope for .308

You can’t just buy any scope willy-nilly and expect stellar performance.

If you want the BEST long-range scope for your .308 rifle, here are some things I’d recommend looking into:

#1 Magnification Settings

Let’s start with the close and mid-ranges:

Close to Medium-Distance Shooting

If you’ll only be using your rifle at a max range of 250 yards (medium-range shot), you should get a scope with at least 6 to 9x in magnification settings.

For target shooting, you’ll want a 24x and higher magnification range.

But if it’s for tactical shooting, I recommend getting one with a lower variable magnification range.

Long-Distance Shooting

Meanwhile, for a long-range shot (350 yards and up), I think you’ll want a scope with a higher magnification power.

Get something that can handle about 10x or higher magnification if you want to hunt smaller targets.

#2 Lens Coating

You want your lenses to absorb as much light as possible to get maximum clarity, but WITHOUT the glare and reflection.

This is where lens coating will help you. A single lens coating will reduce the reflected light, which then reduces glare.

In my experience, the more coatings your lens has, the better the glare reduction will be.

Lens coating options range from single coating, fully coated, multi-coated, and fully multi-coated. Let’s look at their differences:

  • Single Coating – One of the lenses has at least 1 layer of coating.
  • Fully Coated – ALL lenses have at least 1 layer of coating.
  • Multi-Coated – At least 1 of the lenses has more than one layer of anti-reflective and anti-glare coating.
  • Fully Multi-Coated – More than one lens has more than one layer of coating.

#3 Reticle

What’s your shooting style? Get a reticle that matches that!

When choosing your reticle, no particular one is better than the others, so I say, just go with the one you like.

Most people prefer bigger lenses because the bigger your objective lens is, the more light it can capture— meaning a clearer sight picture for you.

However, keep in mind that a bigger lens will also be heavier.

#4 Parallax Adjustment

For long-range shots, the reticle won’t always be in the same focal plane as the target, resulting in parallax.

When this happens, your eyes move with respect to the sight. The reticle will wander about over your target.

Parallax is something that you’ll always have to deal with on long-range targets, so make sure to get a scope with a parallax adjustment.

But if you’ll be shooting at short to medium range, you won’t need a parallax adjustment.

Now that you know what to look for when it comes to buying your own scope, it’s easier to find one that suits you!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Far Can a .308 Shoot?

Typically 1000 yards, in my experience.

But it depends on a lot of things, from the skill of the shooter to the load and barrel length, the angle from which you are shooting from, and many more.

What Is the Ideal Range for a .308?

Again, this depends on a lot of factors.

For deer hunting, my safe answer would be around 300 yards.

How Much Eye Relief Do I Need for a .308?

You will want to have about 3 to 4 inches of eye relief if you’re only using one eye.

But if you want to use a scope that allows you to keep both eyes open, you might want more eye relief than that.

What Scope Size Should I Get for the AR .308?

Whatever you want.

No, really! When it comes to scope size, it doesn’t really matter what size you get because there isn’t an ideal size that will perform better than others.

Get one that you prefer and suits your needs, and make sure it’ll fit in your rifle well.

What Is the Effective Range of a 308?

The ideal range is around 300 meters, but the overall effective range would be around 800 meters.

That’s a safe bet that you can hit your targets even when the weather conditions are sub-optimal.

How Far Can a .308 Shoot Accurately?

It actually depends on the size of your target.

For instance, a deer and any other similar-sized target would be at 300 yards. A prairie dog will be at a mile.

What Is a .308 Good For?

The 308 is best for deer, pronghorn, elk, moose, and bear hunting.

What Magnification Do Military Snipers Use?

 Usually, it’s at the 2x-12x magnification level.

I’ve found this range ideal for long-range shooting, so you can start with that setting and just set it to a higher or lower magnification as needed.

Why Do Snipers Wrap Their Rifles?

It’s really just for camouflage.

Wrapping the rifle creates little sleeves for it and helps it blend into its environment better. You could also try doing this to hide from targets with sharp vision.

How Many Screws Do I Need for Scope Rings With .308 Winchester?

4 holes to 6 holes rings are usually recommended.

But it mostly relies on the material used to make the rings and the height at which the scope will be installed.

So if you’re dealing with steel rings, 2 to 4 screws will be enough, while aluminum rings will need 4 to 6 screws.

Our Top Picks

Have you decided on which scope for your 308 to get?

If you haven’t yet, here’s a quick summary of my top recommendations:

Best Overall – NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm

Pricey? Yes, a bit.

But also worth EVERY cent. Especially for long-range hunters, for whom accuracy and precision are non-negotiable.

With a 56mm objective lens, you just can’t get more light capture than this. You’ll get the brightest and clearest images and superb color contrast no matter the light conditions or magnification settings.

That and the ZeroSet feature, plus the wide range of elevation adjustment and parallax adjustment make this an incredible piece of equipment!

If price isn’t an issue for you, I definitely recommend the NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm.

Best Value – Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm

Leupold has been a crowd favorite for generations for a good reason.

When a brand is THAT established and loved, you know they’re providing exactly what shooters need.

With top-notch glass, multi-coated lenses, a 3-15x magnification range, and their signature Twilight Max HD Light Management System, your images will be razor sharp and crystal clear.

The Leupold is one of the few scopes that I know I can depend on, and if you try getting one, you’ll see why.

Best Budget Pick – Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2

Affordability without sacrificing quality. That’s the Argos BTR GEN2 when summed up.

I think you’ll have a tough time getting another rifle scope with the same kind of outstanding build quality and amazingly clear optics at this price point, except in the Argos BTR. Plus, nothing beats its accuracy in long-range shots.

It’s also made of 6061T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, something rare in its range!

If you’re on a budget or just starting out, you can’t go wrong with this scope choice.

Conclusion

And that’s everything I have on the best scopes for 308.

I hope you found the scope that’s perfect for you and your specific needs!

Do you own any of these scopes on our list? Which ones would you recommend?

Send this buying guide to your fellow hunters and shooters and let them know!

Changelog:

November 28, 2022 - minor formatting edits

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