Finding a scope for hunting is difficult, we get it.
That’s why I put a lot of time into making this guide.
You can always find some online if you search hard enough. We’ve done the hard work for you by finding the top six scopes for .308 rifles.
These rifles were chosen because of their reliability, utility, and performance. Then, its up to you to decide which rifle suits your budget and your specific hunting needs (i.e. long-rang shooting, tactical shooting, etc).
So let’s move on to the review! If your short on time, I’ve put together this table:
- 1 Leupold 1110797 VX-2 3-9X40 Scope
- 2 Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm
- 3 Vortex Optics Crossfire II
- 4 Nikon M-308 4-16×42 Scope
- 5 Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223
- 6 Athlon Argos BTR 6-24
- 7 308 Scope Buying Guide
- 7.1 What Should I Look For in a Riflescope?
- 7.2 Magnification Power
- 7.3 Objective Lens
- 7.4 Main Scope Tube
- 7.5 Field of View
- 7.6 Lens Coatings
- 7.7 Reticle
- 7.8 Focal Plane
- 7.9 Parallax Adjustment
- 7.10 Eyepiece
- 7.11 Eye Relief
- 7.12 Elevation and Windage
- 7.13 Fogproof and Waterproof
- 7.14 Types of Scopes
- 7.15 Understanding Scope Numbers
- 7.16 Scope Magnification
- 7.17 Exit Pupil
- 8 Conclusion
Leupold 1110797 VX-2 3-9X40 Scope
First on our list is the The Leupold VX-2 3-9X40 Scope. It is a lightweight, compact and rugged scope that is great for field hunting and scouting. It’s easy to attach, focus and is 100% fog-proof and waterproof, which means you don’t have to remove it when the weather turns bad.
Matched Index Lenses System
When speaking of the Leupold VX-2 rifle scope series, there isn’t a “one size fits all approach”. The VX-2 is too advanced for that type of treatment. Leupold’s manufacturers work to achieve the best optical performance by managing glare, refraction, and light loss to obtain the most effective light transmission via index matched technology.
To summarize, Leupold’s engineers worked to see what point does light reflect around the color spectrum that the human eye can see. This helped them make the coating formulas to match the light refraction within the scope.
Once the light is collected by the bell, the scope’s coatings stop it from bouncing around the tube which reduces color degradation and glare. More light is visible to the eye which is used to give you a better optical visionary experience with sharp, crystal clear, and crisp images.
Whether you’re scouting through he plains in the Wild Wild West, walking through the heat of the Safari, or hunting in one of Australia’s outbacks, the distance markings of the VX-2 will be measured in yards.
Wherever you’re hunting, you can tune the measurements to the distance your trophy is located. You can use the AO to help adjust the parallax and focus. The measurement markings are used as a guideline.
- 100% Krypton Waterproof
- Index Match Lens System
- Compact and lightweight (11.2 oz)
- Easy to mount
- DiamondCoat lens coatings
- Great for all-purpose hunting conditions
- Improved lighting system
- Fast mounting for short range shooting
- Unable to sight in
Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm
The Nikon Buckmasters is a lifetime keeper despite its inexpensive price tag. When you see a scope so affordable, its hard to determine if it’s a cheap piece of junk or a lemon. The Buckmasters II scope has withstood the test of time, making it a great choice for first time hunters.
The scope has a BDC reticle with ballistic circles to help long-range hunters aim better. You can optimize reticle use via Nikon’s Ballistic Match Technology to make accurate shots for long distances with your load and ammunition.
The scope consists of a fast-focus eye piece for smooth and fast action to deliver better focus for your eyesight. If you’re a no-nonsense hunter like most of the buyers in the market, you’ll like the simplicity of the rifle scope.
The Buckmasters II has a nitrogen-purged optics chamber, and the lenses are O-ring sealed. This makes the scope fog proof, making it easier to aim without anything clogging the lenses.
It’s fully shockproof and waterproof to withstand abuse in any field. Without needing parallax correction, it’s basic setting is at 100 yards. And it has fully coated optics which lens to better light transmission for pristine and vivid image quality.
- Shockproof, waterproof, fog proof
- Consistent, generous eye relief
- Patented BDC reticle
- Multi-coated optics
- 3-9x Magnification
How Large is The Scope?
This scope features a 40mm objective lens that allows plenty of light while keeping the accessory’s diameter manageable. The width of the glass is 44mm, so make sure there’s some clearance between the scope and the rifle. The overall length is 12.3 inches, and the scope is 13.1 ounces.
The optic relief is short, meaning that you might experience minor discomfort if you’re wearing glasses. Its exit pupil dilates at around 4.4 – 13.3 mm, which allows light to enter through the lens.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II
When you need a high-quality scope at an affordable price, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II is a great option.
While this model is used for multiple applications, it’s suited for novice and intermediate 100 yard hunters and target shooters. Shooters that are used to new scopes or long range shooting will be able to learn the controls without problems.
Multi Coated Lens
The fully multi-coated lens increases the scope’s light transmission while reducing the glare on all surfaces. It reduces the haze, which makes the colors appear too bright, and increase accuracy by allowing a distinct sight picture.
Thanks to its aluminum construction, you don’t have to worry about using the scope in harsh weather. O-rings stop unwanted moisture and dirt from penetrating the tube. The nitrogen gas ensures that there’s no internal fogging. Thus, making the scope useful for any environment.
Multiple Reticle Options
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II has multiple reticle options that you can choose from. For instance, the V-plex is a versatile crosshair that can be used in all sorts of applications. And, the BDC has hash marks to assist the hunter with windage corrections and bullet drop. This reticle is a good option for long range shooting and in different wind conditions.
The V-Brite reticle is an illuminated version of the V-Plex. The reticle uses battery power to illuminate the center dot for more performance in low lighting conditions.
The reticle is powered by a CR 232 battery. On average, the battery life is at 1,000 hours on the lowest setting and 25 hours on its brightest setting. With so much battery power, you don’t have to worry about the scope failing during your nighttime hunting excursions.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II has good flair suppression, like most multi-coated optics. Color fringing, field curvature, and color distortion are present in the riflescope. So users can aim clearly without having visual disruptions on the scope.
- Fully multicoated lens
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Waterproof aluminum tube
- BDC Moa Reticle
- Second focal plane scope
- Great in warm conditions
- Good for long range shooting
- Useful in low lighting condition
- Reticles are unable to be centered
Nikon M-308 4-16×42 Scope
Forth, on our list is the M-308 4-16×42 Scope. This scope comes fully multicoated, giving over 95% light transmission through its objective lens. If you’re looking for a scope that has great image quality and aiming features, look no further.
The Nikon M-308 4-16×42 Scope has 1″ diameter sized tube. It’s recommended that you use medium height rings, so it attaches to the scope.
Quick Note: Investing in high-quality mounts and rings will help you save money. The scopes will last longer, meaning that you don’t have to waste time zeroing them each year. As a rule of thumb, get the lowest height, so it doesn’t collide with other parts of your rifle and provide the most accuracy.
The M-308’s scope delivers a clear image in all magnification levels. Contrast and coloring are also good. It will be hard to find a comparable scope within this price range.
Also, the M-308 has a fast focus feature, which makes it easier for the hunter to focus and aim at their trophy. This is a plus, especially for users with vision problems. It includes a rubber pad which helps reduce the recoil to your eye.
The M-308 has a parallax side adjustment knob, making it a much-needed accessory for larger scopes. You can adjust the parallax at a minimum of 50 to infinity, and it has a locking feature via pressing the knob in.
Magnification & Dimensions
This scope has a scope adjustment between 4X and 16X and gives you a clear image of the target. It features a 42mm objective lens that offers plenty of light transmissions. It can be slightly heavy at 19 ounces. While it might be too big for an AR-15, it will fit an AR-10 perfectly.
- Shockproof, waterproof, fog proof
- Quick focus eye piece
- Large magnification range
- 7-4 inch Eye Relief
- Nikoplex Reticle
- Fog proof
- Improved scope range
- Durable outer multicoated covering
- Limited adjustment knob range
- Slow targeting
Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223
Next up is the Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223. It’s an excellent mid-range hunter with a BDC reticle that’s used for 55-62 grain. The high quality materials that are used to make the scope ensure that the accessory is long lasting and durable.
One of the main advantages of the Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 is its close range accuracy. This is due to its turret targeting system and enhanced therapy optics. The fast focus feature is another advantage of the device.
The range spans from 100-500 yards. It has a 1-4x magnification range, making it an accurate scope for simple hunting excursions.
The Drop Zone-223 has a 30mm tube (making it easy to mount the scope) and a BDC reticle that doesn’t lose focus once you change the magnification. The reticle has a drop zone BDC.
Note: The scope’s bullet drop scale is exclusively crafted for 223 rounds (55-62) range. Anything outside of this range and the fall rate will be different. Keep in mind that this device has a second focal plane scope.
The scope consists of aluminum alloy, but it’s heavier, weighing about 16.9 oz. It has an anodized finish, making the scope waterproof, fog proof and shockproof. Even in the harshest climates, the Bushnell AR Scope will provide the best performance you’d expect. And its heavy matte finish doesn’t just add to its aesthetics but can withstand wear and tear.
- 3-9x 40mm
- Generous eye relief
- BDC Drop Zone reticle
- 1-4x Magnification
- Side focus parallax adjustment
- Can shoot targets over 100 yards
- Water proof
- Illuminated reticle
- Reticle falls on occasion
Athlon Argos BTR 6-24
The Athlon Argos BTR 6-24 is a great scope for hunters needing a first focal plane rifle scope. It has a 4x magnification range, making it suitable for multiple shooting disciplines. With an advanced Multi Coated Optical lenses that have a crystal clear image even on lower lighting conditions.
We like the Athlon Argos BTR 6-24 because of its ability to stay safe when submerged in water. Also its fogproof so you can engage your target when taking your rifle to a cold ambient temperature or warm temperature.
You need a scope that can help you aim at your target during low light conditions. Fortunately, the Athlon Argos BTR 6-24 has an illuminated reticle that gives better visibility in dusk and dark environments, making it easier to use in almost any environment.
And the reticle etched on the glass gives it good backing support for advanced reticle design and provides great durability and better shock resistance to recoil.
6061 T6 Aluminum
Having a scope with a powerful covering will enhance its durability. The 6061T6 Aluminum tube has superior mechanical integrity and exceptional strength. This will protect the scope no matter what environment you’re in.
- Better purging
- Fully Multi-Coated
- 6061T6 Aluminum Tube
- Thermal stability
- First focal plane reticle
- Great for beginner hunters
- Shock proof covering
- Clear image on target
- Fogs on cold temperatures
308 Scope Buying Guide
Most hunters have some form of sighting scopes on their rifles. Using a sight or riflescope eliminates the need to aim down with iron sights and improves your aiming and accuracy. These scopes allow you to shoot in low lighting conditions. You can look at the target clearly and will increase the chances of hitting it.
Keep reading our buying guide if you’re still confused on what .308 rifle scope is the best for you. If you’re looking for a 30-06 scope check these out.
What Should I Look For in a Riflescope?
It’s obvious that finding a good rifle scope can be challenging at first. There are a lot of extra mechanics you have to consider. We’ll try to give you an outline of the best features you need to look for when selecting a scope for your rifle.
Usually, a rifle has a magnification power expressed in a group of numbers such as 4×32 or a 4×16 scope. The 4-16×42 has a variable magnification setting that allows you to adjust the magnification levels from four to sixteen. However, the 4×32 is a fixed magnification scope because its magnification is at 4x and you can’t adjust its magnification.
4x scope means you can see the image four times closer than with your human eye. Similarly, having a 16x magnification means you can see the image 16 times more than the naked eye.
Most scopes have the variable magnification power, like the 4-16x one shown above. The bigger the magnification, the more aiming versatility the scope has. It allows you to see further and in better detail. Some hunters want a variable power rifle scope while others prefer a fixed power scope.
The lens that is located away from the eye when looking from the scope is the objective lens. The number in the rifle scope tells you that the objective lens is expressed in millimeters (i.e. 4×32). For example, a 4×32 scope has a 32mm objective lens. As a rule of thumb, the larger the diameter, the more light that will go to the Ocular Lens for better images in low-light environments.
However, you need to know that a larger objective lens diameter makes the rifle scope heavier. For optimal brightness, the lenses of the scope have to be protected with lens coating and need to have multiple layers. Multi-coated lens is the highest lens coating level
Main Scope Tube
The main tube is made out of metal that has both the objective and ocular lenses. This is called the riflescope’s body. It varied in diameters from 25, 30, and 35mm; this depends on the type of the scope and the brand.
A scope with larger tubes increases the range of adjustment and space for internal components, which is better for long-distance hunting. Generally, scopes with large tubes are durable than 1-inch scopes.
Based on this popular belief, larger tubes doesn’t mean it holds more light. Exit pupils control it. But, the larger the tube’s diameter gives you more rigidity and strength. However, it carries extra weight, and each ounce can weigh you down while hunting. If you want something lightweight, a 30mm scope might be something to consider.
Field of View
This amount of view is measured horizontally that you can view at 100 yards when looking through a rifle scope. It’s measured in 100 yards. A higher number shows a larger area which is better for a rifle scope.
As a rule of thumb, the field of view increases once its magnification decreases. And the field of view decreases if its magnification increases. For target acquisition, a scope with a smaller power or a wider field of view is needed.
The coatings on the lenses reduce glare and the lost light because of reflection. The light strikes at an angle that’s less that 48.5 degrees and won’t pass through the objective lens. A thin chemical film coating helps to reduce reflection. The coatings help reduce the glare and light loss which results in clearer images.
Here are four different lens coatings:
- Fully Multi-Coated: Multi layers on all glass lens surfaces
- Multicoated: Multiple layers in one surface of the lens
- Coated: One layer on one surface of a lens
- Fully Coated: One layer on all surfaces
Some scopes are designed with coatings that protect it from scratches while others have coatings that stop water from staying on glass. The Hydrophonic and Hydrophilic coatings give clear viewings in misty or rain conditions.
The reticle is a pattern of lines on an eyepiece that gives the hunter an aiming point. The visual markers are known as crosshairs. Reticles have different types, and each is useful in any shooting situation. Here are the most common reticles that are available:
- Crosshair reticle: This is the first reticle that was designed for riflescopes. One vertical and one horizontal line crosses each other in the middle and creates an aiming point. This is good for precise shooting but not always the best for hunting.
- BDC reticle: The Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) ratio is an alternative form of a Duplex reticle. It has markings in the 6 o clock position. These additional marks give you the support to shoot the bullet. We suggest that you use a BDC reticle for long range shooting.
- Non-Illuminated/Illuminated Reticle: A reticle with some light which helps you hunt in limited light environments. It comes with multiple colors and combinations. All the reticles are illuminated so you can see the Duplex Illuminated Reticle and BDC reticle while a scope with no light is a non-illuminated reticle.
- Duplex reticle: Many shooters and hunters think this is the best reticle. The four thick lines from the circumference begin to thin out from the circle. The combination of thin and thick lines helps you quickly aim at a moving target.
- Mil-Dot Reticle: Each Mrad on the reticle measures 3.6 inches at 100 yards. This reticle is used for long distance shooters and snipers.
Rifles have two types of focal planes: The first focal plane and a second focal plane. All riflescopes consist of variable magnification power have reticles placed in the first or second focal plane. The reticle in the first plane means the reticle will increase or decrease once the power settings change.
The rear focal plane (second focal plane) is the most common reticle style. It remains the same size and doesn’t change with your target. Second focal plane scopes are lighter and are recommended by most hunters in America.
Parallax is a condition where the target image isn’t directly focused on the target plane. It shows the inconsistency of the view once looking through your rifle scope. The scope’s reticle won’t accurately reflect where you are aiming the rifle.
This is usually an issue with rifles with a scope magnification above 10x. The focusing knob adjusts to reticle to eye level. Scopes with parallax adjustment have a clearer image. Rifle scopes without an adjustable lens are in factory settings to compensate for the parallax. Adjustable lenses are a great choice when finding a scope for long range targets.
The eyepiece is at the end of the rifle scope. It consists of the eye bell and ocular lens. The eye bell consists of the ocular lens and is the flared section of the rifle. The eyepiece is then adjusted to focus on the image made by the objective lens.
The eye relief is the distance from the eyepiece surface to your eye which allows you to see the image comfortably. Eye relief is important for multiple reasons. First, heavy recoiling rifles can make an impact on your eye socket and can damage your eye if the eye relief is small.
People who wear glasses will need a longer eye relief so they can see the complete range of the scope. So you need to get a scope with the appropriate eye relief. 3 to 4 inches is a good fit for most riflemen and hunters.
Elevation and Windage
Today’s scopes are adjusted for point-of-impact with two knobs. The knob that’s on the side, and one on top of the scope. The side knobs are used to adjust the windage adjustment while Windage is a term used to determine the scope’s horizontal adjustment. The top knob is used to adjust the vertical adjustment (elevation) of the rifle.
Fogproof and Waterproof
Riflescopes use gas purging to stop the lens from fogging and makes the riflescope fog proof and waterproof. In this process, the air from the scope tube is released and is filled with a mixture of gas or gas. The most common is a Krypton/Argon gas mixture. The scope tube is sealed to keep the internal pressure, so moist air is unable to reach the tube to fog up the lenses.
Types of Scopes
There are a lot of .308 scopes that are available, but the most common ones are usually placed into two different categories. You need to know the different types to ensure you’re getting the right scope for your needs.
Fixed Scope – With fixed scopes, you’re unable to adjust the magnification settings and the kind that makes them easier to use than the variables. But, this reduces the applications where fixed scopes can be used. If you’re shooting at the same distance or the same environment, fixed scopes are a great choice for you. They tend to be more durable as well.
Variable Scope – Variable scopes are the most common type of scope. They are great for dynamic environments and if you have an accurate shot. The good thing about variable scopes is that you can adjust based on your needs. Basically, it allows you to zoom in and out of the target. This factor is very important if you’re attempting to hunt. Variable scopes tend to be used with sniper rifles for long range shooting.
Understanding Scope Numbers
Before you plan on buying a rifle scope, you need to read the numbers to understand its specifications. To make it easier, the rifles have a general number form. The format displays the magnification first and then its diameter. The objective and magnifying lens, are displayed by “X” and marked in millimeters.
Let’s look at the Nikon Buckmasters 3-9x40mm for example.
If its magnification part has two numbers and a dash in between, it indicates that it has an adjustable magnification. For instance, the scope allows you to adjust the magnification levels from 3 to 9x. The second value, 40mm, is the objective lens in millimeters. The front lens is in the diameter.
Here’s the next thing you have to consider.
Magnification is important when finding a rifle for you. This is the most important feature and can make a difference in your hunting or shooting results. If you want the best results, the scope’s power would have to match your needs.
Scopes that have a magnification range between 2-4x are great for shooting a target within 150 yards. Most fixed scopes are good for short range shooting.
A variable scope with a range of 2-7x and 3-9x is strong enough to shoot to 300 yards. Actually, the 3-9x scope is used for multipurpose one isn’t as much of the low-end vision. This makes it able to shoot beyond 300 yards and is used for short range hunting.
If you need a scope for long range shooting, high powered scopes work the best. If you’re a tactical shooter or love to shoot around wide plains, get a scope with magnification that’s near 12x-25x. However it needs to be noted that high powered scopes aren’t useful for close range targets, so try to get a scope that’s within 9x. This limits the use for mid to long range shooting.
There are some issues using a high-powered scope as well. High magnification scopes narrow the field of vision and light transfer. These lenses will affect the ergonomics as they are larger and weigh more than low-powered ones. Regular hunters need a scope above 12x, but there are hunters with different needs, so long range of scopes has a form of use.
After reading the numbers on a scope and have an idea of the magnification that you need, you have to decide which rifle scope is best for you.
The exit pupil is the virtual aperture in the scope tube where all the light enters through the objective lens can pass through the ocular lens. The light rays pass through the exit pupil and the system.
It’s measured in millimeters. The main factor that takes plays a significant role in the light performance. The larger the diameter of the objective lens, the size of the exit lens increases as well, and the brighter the image in low light conditions.
To find the size of your scope’s exit pupil, divide the diameter of the objective lens by the magnification power. For example, if you have a scope with a 28mm diameter and a 4x magnification power dive them both, and you’ll get, 28/4 = 7mm.
A 4mm exit pupil on the magnification range that’s recommended for the optimal hunting scope.
To conclude, getting yourself a high-quality scope is a great investment. So it can be difficult getting the right one for the first time. If you need a good all-purpose scope, the Leupold 1110797 VX-2 3-9X40 Scope is a good idea. But if you need something for more long-range shooting, the Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 is worth every penny. No matter which rifle you choose, you’ll be having a better aim and a better hunting experience.