Whether you’re hunting or shooting targets, being able to hit what you’re aiming at is the most important thing.
In the wilderness, if you’re looking to make a clean kill while you’re hunting, you need to be a little more precise than the average shooter.
One of the most helpful things that you can use to make sure that your shots are accurate is a scope, provided you’re using a hunting rifle. Most of today’s hunting rifles feature rails to make it easier to attach scopes, and you’ll also want to make sure that your scope is compatible with the caliber that you’re shooting.
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge has been used since its introduction in 1906, and it’s one of the most popular rounds used in hunting rifles all across the US. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the contenders for the title of best scope for .30-06, and we’ll provide a detailed review for each choice.
We’ve made sure to choose a wide and varied selection of scopes so that everyone will be likely to find something that works for them. These scopes are available for a range of different prices, and some of them will be better suited for closer ranges with ample lighting whereas others may be more versatile.
- 1 The Top Six 3006 Scopes
- 1.1 1 – Vortex DBK-04-BDC Diamondback Matte Rifle Scope
- 1.2 2 – Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane Rifle Scope
- 1.3 3 – Leupold 110797 VX-2 3-9x40mm Compact Rifle Scope
- 1.4 4 – Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC Rifle Scope
- 1.5 5 – Leupold 113882 VX-1 Rifle Scope
- 1.6 6 – Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Black Matte Rifle Scope
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion
The right scope needs to combine a good field of view with sufficient clarity for accurate shooting. If you’re going to be using it for hunting, you’ll also need your scope to be durable enough to withstand the elements and the wear and tear that comes with being used in the wilderness.
Our reviews will cover the specifications of each product before diving into an overview that will discuss what we liked about each product as well as what we didn’t. Once we’re done covering each of the scopes, we’ll get into our buying advice, in which we’ll go over some of the most important features that should be present in the best scope for .30-06.
The Top Six 3006 Scopes
1 – Vortex DBK-04-BDC Diamondback Matte Rifle Scope
- Features a reticle with a bullet drop compensator for long-range shooting
- The coated lenses absorb more of the light from your surroundings
- Equipped with a fast focus eyepiece that allows for quicker target acquisition
- Durable metal turrets for adjustments
- One-piece design helps the scope resist shocks and impacts
- Features a magnification ranging from 4X to 12X
- Eye relief is between 3.4 and 3.1 inches
The first scope on our list is one of the most pricey ones, but it also features a wide range of capabilities that help put it a step ahead of most of the other products that we went over. The Vortex DBK-04-BDC is equipped with everything ranging from a bullet drop compensator on the reticle to a fast focus eyepiece, but you’ll have to pay for it.
Vortex’s Diamondback lineup features a wide range of scopes, and this particular model comes with a magnification range that goes from 4X to 12X, making it ideal for a variety of distances. If you want to go hunting with this scope, you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged thanks to its one-piece design.
While the reticle is relatively simple, it features a dead-hold bullet drop compensator that makes it possible to shoot at longer ranges than you may have thought possible. This also ensures that it’s easier for the shooter to estimate their hold-over, even if they don’t have much experience doing so.
The coating on the lenses fully eliminates reflections except for in the sunniest conditions, and it makes the whole sight picture clearer and brighter, even when the ambient light isn’t ideal. The turrets make it easier to reset your zero, and the feature a metal-on-metal design for improved durability in the long term.
The magnification adjustment ring gives a sturdy click every time it’s rotated, so you can be sure that you’ve reached the right magnification even without looking. The scope features an eye relief that ranges from 3.4 to 3.1 inches, making it a little more forgiving than some of the other choices.
Since this scope features a second focal plane reticle, it won’t change when you zoom in closer, making for a more consistent experience aiming across different ranges. Even though the scope is optimized for quicker zeroing, you shouldn’t have any problems with the recoil caused by a .30-06, as it held zero for over more than 50 shots.
This product also comes with Vortex’s signature warranty, so if you have any problems with it, you’ll be dealing with one of the best customer service divisions in the industry. This ensures that you’ll get the most for your money, even if you end up having problems with reliability.
The only problem we had with this scope is that it was a lot more expensive than some of the other top-quality options that are on sale.
- The Diamondback 4-12x40 riflescope is one of multiple configurations in the Diamondback lineup and is ideal...
- Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for any hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over would...
- Lenses are fully multi-coated for crystal clear, bright images from dawn till dusk. The fast focus eyepiece...
- Metal on metal precision turrets offer the ability to zero reset after sight-in. A precision glide erector...
- A solid one-piece tube with a hard anodized finish creates a shockproof and durable scope while helping...
2 – Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane Rifle Scope
- The dead-hold reticle features a bullet drop compensator
- The long eye relief makes it easier to line up your shot
- Equipped with a fast focus eyepiece to make focusing easier
- Anti-reflective lenses make this scope easier to use on sunny days
- The turrets feature MOA clicks and can be adjusted with your fingers
- The one-piece aluminum tube helps the scope withstand shocks
- Sealed with o-rings and filled with nitrogen, this scope is fully fogproof
The second option on our list is also made by Vortex, and the Crossfire II is a little more affordable than our first scope, yet it still features Vortex’s trademark build quality and warranty. If you’re looking for a scope that will last a long time without breaking the bank, this one should work best for you.
As with the previous scope, this one features a wide magnification range that goes all the way from 4X to 12X, allowing you to shoot accurately in a wide range of situations. This scope also has a fast-focus eyepiece so that you can get a target in focus before it ends up running away, making it perfect for hunters.
This scope also features an eye relief of about 3.9 inches, so you can hold the gun a little further away while still maintaining a clear sight picture. As with the previous scope from Vortex Optics, this one has the reticle located on the second focal plane, so that its size doesn’t shift from magnification to magnification.
The elevation and windage adjustment knobs on this scope feature a rugged design that is meant to last a long time, and the MOA clicks allow you to adjust the settings quickly. The scope features a single-tube design that helps make it more resistant to shocks while in the wilderness and in transport.
Each of the knobs and rings of this scope provides the shooter with a satisfying degree of feedback, so you’ll be sure that you made the required adjustments without looking. The inclusion of a dead-hold BDC reticle makes it easier to account for bullet drop and holdover at long ranges.
This scope is sealed with o-rings and filled with nitrogen to ensure that it will work well in a wide range of environments. You won’t have to worry about moisture making its way through or the scope fogging up, so you can use this model on humid days or when dealing with poor weather like rain.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to adjust your eye relief at higher magnifications, as the sight picture will start to get a little more fuzzy. This is only a minor complaint, but we figured that we’d warn potential buyers so that they don’t think something is wrong with their scope.
Another slight issue is that the relatively short eye relief of the scope makes it sub-optimal for use on scout-style rifles and other guns where you want to be a little further away.
- The 4-12x44 Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The Dead-Hold BDC...
- With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire...
- Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views for the user.
- Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in.
- A single piece tube constructed from aircraft grade aluminum ensures strength and shockproof performance....
3 – Leupold 110797 VX-2 3-9x40mm Compact Rifle Scope
- Features ¼ MOA adjustments for more precise windage and elevation correction
- Designed to resist the elements; completely fogproof and waterproof
- The DiamondCoat coating on the lens provides it with abrasion resistance
- The Index Matched Lens System helps to keep the sight picture clear and bright
- The 3:1 zoom ratio and the aluminum construction results in a lightweight scope
- Can be zeroed up to 600 yards
- Forgiving eye relief of 3.7 to 4.2 inches
The first of two products from Leupold on our list, the VX-2 rifle scope features a compact design that makes it ideal for rifles that are both small and large. There are a few design elements that help put the Leupold scope ahead of the competition, but it features a high price point that offsets these advantages.
If you’re going to be hunting in tough conditions, then you’ll appreciate that this scope features a sealed design to ensure that it is fully waterproof and resistant to fog. The lens itself is also far more durable than on other scopes, with a DiamondCoat coating that helps resist abrasion and light scratches.
This scope also uses Leupold’s Index Matched Lens System which helps make sure that the scope transmits light as clearly and brightly as possible. These two characteristics characterize the scope, as it features much better light transmission than many of the other options on this list.
Since so much more light gets through this scope, you’ll find that it’s better suited to hunting near dawn or dusk, as it can perform well in low-light conditions. Of course, don’t expect this model to be as effective as a night-vision scope when you have no light to deal with, but it gets the job done.
Since this scope is made out of aluminum and it features a 3:1 zoom ratio, it’s a lot lighter than many of the other options that are available. If you want to keep your gun as lightweight as you can, then this scope will work well for you. Despite being so lightweight, the scope is also durable enough to withstand extended use.
Even though it helps to save weight, the one-inch main tube of this scope is more resilient than you would expect, and it’s built to withstand quite a few shocks and impacts. That being said, this is still a scope, and its relative fragility means that you’ll want to take good care of it so that it can last.
The lens edges are blackened to help reduce the fuzziness that is present around them in other scopes, and they also help focus more of the light in the visible portion of the scope. The turrets feature ¼ MOA adjustments for improved precision, and they’re also built to remain reliable over the scope’s lifetime.
Of course, the major downside is that this scope is very pricey when compared to the other choices you have available. If you’re looking for a bargain, this isn’t the right scope, but its great low-light performance helps make up for that.
- Quick and easy parallax adjustment in the field
- 1/4 MOA precision finger click adjustments for windage and elevation
- Absolute waterproof and fogproof integrity
- Brightness, clarity, and contrast needed to hunt in any weather conditions
- Covered by Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee
4 – Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 BDC Rifle Scope
- The lenses feature an anti-reflective coating that eliminates 92% of reflections
- Equipped with a bullet drop compensator for easier shooting at range
- O-ring sealed and filled with nitrogen to ensure fogproofing and water resistance
- Comes included with a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer
- Magnification ranging from 3X to 9X
- The durable design makes this scope the perfect choice for a hunter
Our next scope, the Nikon Buckmasters II is manufactured by Nikon, but it was designed as a result of a collaboration between them and Buckmasters. With two of the biggest names in the scope industry working together, this scope was bound to be great, and it provides the customer with incredible value for money.
This scope is just as capable as several mid-range models, and it features a much more affordable price point that makes this an attractive choice for a hunter on a budget. To ensure that you get the most for your money and that you won’t need to replace this scope for a long time, its design emphasizes durability.
Along with the durable construction of this scope, it also features full o-ring sealing and nitrogen filling which help ensure that it can perform in nearly any conditions. You won’t have to worry about moisture making its way inside of the scope, and fogging is nearly eliminated.
Unlike many affordable scopes, this one features bullet drop compensation on the reticle so that you can hit targets reliably at longer ranges. The magnification range of 3X to 9X means that you can use this scope at nearly any distance, though its extreme long range performance is hampered by the lack of 12X magnification.
It’s plain to see that this rifle scope has been designed to put up with the challenges that are present in the wilderness. Thanks to its rugged construction, you won’t have to be extremely careful as you make your way through the brush, and the lenses are resistant to light abrasion.
Speaking of the lens, it features a multi-coating that ensures that the sight picture is as vivid as possible while also eliminating any reflections. Thanks to this coating, the scope can be used in all sorts of ambient lighting without having to deal with a sight picture that’s too dark for accurate shooting.
The turrets feature ¼ MOA adjustments, making it easier to get the precise windage and elevation that you’re looking for. Due to the positive-click adjustments, its easier to ensure that you stay on zero, even if the recoil of your rifle ends up knocking your scope out of alignment.
As with other Nikon scopes, this one comes with a lifetime warranty, so if it ends up failing on you, you’ll be able to get it fixed or replaced at no extra cost. The only downside to this scope is that it lacks some of the more advanced features that are present in high-end models.
- Extremely bright sight picture
- Fully multicoated lenses
- Patented BDC reticle
- Generous, consistent eye relief
- Waterproof, fog proof, shockproof
5 – Leupold 113882 VX-1 Rifle Scope
- Multi-coat 4 lens system helps improve clarity from edge to edge
- Long eye relief and broad eyebox improves the sight picture
- Reliable ¼ MOA finger click adjustment turrets
- The tactile power indicator tells you your magnification without looking
- Nitrogen filling for enhanced resistance to the elements
- Aerospace aluminum construction with 1-inch main tube for weight savings
- Features a duplex reticle
The second Leupold scope on our list is the VX-1, and this model is another expensive option that features a similar price point to the previous Leupold product that we reviewed. As you would expect from this manufacturer, build quality is one of the main advantages of this scope, as it’s well-built and even the adjustments feel crisp.
The scope features the Multi-Coat 4 lens system, which uses a wide range of coatings to help ensure that there is edge-to-edge clarity through the whole scope and improved light transmission. Thanks to this coating, you won’t have to deal with the blurry edges so common in other scopes.
This scope also comes equipped with Leupold’s BAS, which is their version of bullet drop compensation, making it easier for you to get on target at extreme distances. The infinite power selector settings allow you to tailor the bullet drop compensation for use with a rifle that’s shooting .30-06.
The finger click adjustments feature ¼ MOA increments so that they can be adjusted s precisely as possible, and they are built to be dependable over the scope’s lifetime. This scope also comes equipped with a tactile power selector in which each magnification setting feels unique, letting you know your zoom level without looking.
The one-inch main tube of this scope is compact and lightweight, but it’s also built to be as durable as possible, ensuring that you can take this scope into the woods without worrying about it. The scope itself is made out of aerospace aluminum, which is extremely lightweight without compromising the product’s ruggedness.
Using Leupold’s proprietary nitrogen fill procedure, this scope has also been prepared for all sorts of environmental conditions. You won’t have to deal with fogging, and the scope is particularly resistant to water infiltration due to its sealed construction.
The scope even comes included with a durable, bikini-style lens cover that helps ensure that it won’t get scratched while you’re in transit. While it may not be a major advantage, this is also one of the best-looking scopes on this list, as it features a sleek, glossy finish with orange trim.
As with other Leupold scopes, the only problem that we had with this one is that it’s a lot more expensive than some of the other choices that you have available. That being said, we believe that this scope is worth every dollar, as its build quality simply can’t be matched by any comparably priced product.
- A versatile 3:1 zoom ratio erector system that is ideal for virtually any situation.
- 1/4 MOA precision finger click adjustments for windage and elevation offer absolute repeatability and...
- Absolute waterproof and fog proof integrity – each is ready for a lifetime in the field, in all conditions.
- The Multicoat 4 lens system delivers extreme clarity from edge to edge of the visual field, outstanding...
- Made with Leupold's Proprietary nitrogen sealing process, which has become the industry standard. Rugged and...
6 – Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Black Matte Rifle Scope
- Made of aircraft aluminum with a hard anodizing surface finish for durability and low weight
- Features spring-loaded turrets for an instant zero reset
- Equipped with a reticle that has bullet drop compensators for long ranges
- See-through compensation reticles are easier to use
- Features several layers of anti-reflective coating for the best picture
- Shockproof and O-ring sealed for a sturdy design that can withstand abuse
- Wide magnification range from 3X to 9X
The final product that we’ll be reviewing today is the Nikon ProStaff rifle scope, which is a mid-range model that is a little cheaper than some of the competition. Despite a bit of a lower price point, this scope still features excellent build quality and reliability, so you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.
The magnification range of this scope goes from 3X to 9X, which is common for models in this price range. Despite the lack of a magnification setting for shooting at extreme distances, most hunters won’t end up needing to surpass 9X magnification anyway, so the lack of further settings isn’t a big deal.
Despite being affordable, this scope still comes equipped with a reticle that helps you compensate for bullet drop. Each of the compensation reticles is see-through so that they don’t end up disrupting your aim at closer distances, making for a relatively elegant solution that you won’t see on other scopes.
This scope’s lens has been fully multicoated to help improve light transmission and clarity in sub-optimal lighting conditions. Due to this coating, the scope transmits up to 98% of visible light through to your eye, ensuring that you can see details even when you’re near dawn or dusk.
To keep this scope working in a wide range of conditions, it is fully sealed and filled with nitrogen. This means that the scope won’t fog up due to temperature differences and that water won’t be able to make its way inside of it, ruining the sight picture.
This scope also features a quick-focus eyepiece that will make it easier for you to get on target, especially if you’re hunting for particularly elusive prey. With 3.6 inches of eye relief, this is a comfortable scope for traditional hunting rifles, but it won’t work well if you’re looking to shoulder the gun further away.
Due to the precision ¼ MOA adjustments, you can ensure that your windage and elevation are perfect for your shooting conditions. Each of the turrets provides you with reassuring feedback so that you can be sure that you made an adjustment even without looking.
Since the adjustments are so easy to make, you can get this scope shooting accurately without too much trouble, even on your first trip with it. The only complaint that we have about this scope is that the turret caps are made out of plastic, so they’ll be less durable than metal ones.
- Compact riflescope with 3 to 9x magnification and 40mm objective lens
- Fully multicoated optical system transmits up to 98 percent of available light
- Zero-reset turret with spring-loaded adjustment knob; 3.6 inches of eye relief
- Nitrogen-filled, O-ring-sealed housing for waterproof, fogproof performance
- BDC reticle; quick-focus eyepiece; measures 12.4 inches
Now that you’ve seen the six best scopes for .30-06, you’re probably wondering how you can choose the best one for your needs. In this part of our buying guide, we’re going to take a look at some buying advice that should be able to help you choose the right scope for your needs. If you have a .308 rifle check out these 308 scopes.
The first thing to consider when you’re looking for a hunting or target shooting scope is the magnification, as that will determine the ranges that you can shoot at. Most hunting scopes will range between 3X and 12X, though there are some that are designed for extreme ranges and will have even higher magnification.
While higher magnifications will make it easier for you to see a target at long range, you’ll still have to be a proficient shot to be able to hit anything that far out. If you’re still a beginner hunter, high-magnification scopes may result in little more than frustration.
The lens coating that is used on a hunting scope will determine a wide range of factors, including reflections and the amount of light that it can absorb. The last thing that you want is the sun glinting off of your scope and spooking potential prey, so you’ll need a coating that helps minimize reflections.
However, the coating will also be crucial when it comes to determining whether or not your scope can be used in worse lighting conditions. If you’re doing a lot of hunting near dawn or dusk, you’ll want the lens to be coated with a compound that helps it absorb more of the surrounding light.
Bullet Drop Compensation
If you’re going to be doing a lot of shooting at longer ranges, you’ll want to get your hands on a hunting scope that comes equipped with BDC, or bullet drop compensation. These scopes have reticles with markings that will make it easier for you to shoot at longer distances.
A bullet drop compensator can be a useful tool for both beginner and advanced hunters, though you’ll want to be sure that the markings will match the caliber that you’re firing. Some scopes will feature tune-able BDC that you can adjust for different cartridges and bullet velocities.
Whether or not your scope will be able to handle the elements will determine whether or not it will be a good choice for use in the wilderness. Of course, if you live in a predominately dry climate, this will likely be less of a concern for you, but you should still get a sealed scope.
Most hunting scopes are sealed with rubber o-rings to prevent water or condensation from getting inside of them. They are also usually filled with nitrogen to ensure that they don’t end up fogging when you bring the scope closer to your face to aim.
The weight of your scope will be determined by the materials that it’s made out of and its size. To help reduce weight, most scopes will feature a one-inch main tube. The majority of scopes are made out of lightweight metals like aluminum which will help keep them as portable as possible.
A lighter scope will reduce the overall weight of your hunting rifle, meaning that your arms won’t get tired over the course of a long hunt. More lightweight scopes will also improve your gun handling, as your rifle won’t feel as sluggish in your arms.
The final thing to consider is whether or not your scope is durable enough for your needs, especially if you’re going to be bringing it into the wild with you. The last thing that you want is for your scope to fail partway through a hunt, and a more durable one will be less likely to do so.
When considering a scope’s durability, take a moment to consider the material that it’s made out of and whether it features sufficient build quality for your needs. Remember that a more durable scope can help save you money in the long run, as you won’t need to replace it as frequently.
There are plenty of excellent scopes available for rifles shooting .30-06, and we’ve only covered a few of them. We hope that we’ve been able to help you out with this guide. Keep in mind that picking a scope is a personal matter, and there’s no guarantee that our favorites will match your tastes, but we’re confident that each of these models is a great product.