Top 8 Best Scope for .308 Rifle: Buyers’ Guide

Best Scope For .308 Rifle

Are you looking for the Best Scope for .308 Rifle? That’s not surprising, as the .380 is among the top options for many military snipers and law enforcement shooters all over the world. 

It remains a viable option despite the fact that Winchester introduced this cartridge way back in 1952. In the 1980s, the .308 even replaced the 30-06 rifle. 

Today you can find this cartridge in military machine guns and in numerous sniper rifles. 

Many still use it because of the simple reason that it’s proven to work. If you’ve long been accustomed to its capabilities, then it holds no surprises and you can put your bullet where you want it to go.

It’s not just for professionals either. Plenty of shooting ranges and competitions feature the .308. It’s for that reason you need a scope. Shooting without a scope when your competition uses scopes is just plain nonsensical. 

A scope helps you zero in on your target much more accurately. It will help you get the smaller groupings you need so that you can get a higher score and win. 

If you’re a hunter, you also need a scope for your .308 rifle. It’s not just so it makes you cooler. A scope helps you find the deer you’ve been hunting, and you can shoot from farther away. 

Deer are notoriously skittish, and you can’t just think you can approach them to within an arm’s length. With a scope, you can even aim for an immediately fatal area so that you can have a quick and clean kill with just one shot. 

You won’t have to wound the deer so you’d have to track it down to finish it. Besides, it’s safer with a scope. That’s not just because you may also be hunting predators, which you obviously shouldn’t approach too closely. 

You can confirm that your target is indeed a deer, and not some person who’s also hunting in the same area as you.

Name

Magnification & OL

Reticle

FOV

Price

Burris Eliminator

3X-12X - 44

X96 reticle

33 – 9 (ft. @ 100 yds.)

Nikon M-308

4-16x42

BDC 800 Reticle

6.3 - 25.2 ft @ 100 yds

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP

4-16x42

Dead-Hold BDC Reticle

23.8-6.1 feet /100 yards

Leupold VX-2 3-9x40

3-9X40

LR Duplex reticle

34.6 - 14.6' @ 100 yd / 11.5 - 4.9 m @ 100 m

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x4 BDC

3-9x40

BDC Reticle

11.3 - 33.8 ft @ 100 yds

Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x44

6-18x44

DEAD-HOLD BDC

15.2-5.3 ft/100 yd

Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 Riflescope

3-9x40

BDC Reticle

11.3-33.8 ft @ 100 yds

Vokul Tactical 3-9x40mm

3-9x40

Rangefinder Reticle

13.41' ~ 40.38' @ 100yards

Our Picks

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Burris Eliminator

Score: 4.3  Andrew Garfield

It’s easy to understand why publications like Guns and Ammo like this scope for long range shooting. It comes with a special proprietary reticle, and it comes with laser targeting.

Its magnification power ranges from 3 to 12x, and it’s rated for long distance shooting for more than 1,200 yards. The durability and accuracy are all outstanding. If you can afford it, this is one serious scope for your .308.

Features:

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    The wide range of magnification power means that you can see targets from much farther away.
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    The special reticle offers the best features of various technical sights like the BDC (bullet drop compensation) and the mil-dot.
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    You don’t need to figure out the math of the shooting, since you have programmable adjustment knobs. Enter your caliber (.308) and the knobs will just scale accordingly. The bullet drop and even the windage are also scaled, and you end up with an illuminated target.
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    There’s even an inclinometer built in. This will factor in the speed and the drop off depending on the slope of your shot.
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    The adjustment turrets have spring tension systems that offer reliable accuracy.
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    It’s very durable, as all the parts are shielded, the knobs are low profile, and the lenses have been multi-coated for scratch protection. In fact, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

-  It’s quite expensive though. Of course, you can take into account that with this scope you may not need to buy a separate rangefinder at all.

-  The proprietary reticle is a bit different from what you may be used to, but then it shouldn’t take too much time to get used to it.

Nikon M-308

Score: 4.7  Andrew Garfield

Nikon is a well-known brand in photography, and its familiarity and long history with lenses makes it a natural contender for rifle optics. As the name may already indicate this is one scope that’s specifically designed for the .308 cartridge.

It’s not as expensive as the Burris, yet the magnification goes from 4 to 16x. The technical accuracy is excellent and it offers a very well-lit and clean sight.

Features:

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    The range of magnification gives you lots of options. You can have a wide field of vision with low magnification, and with higher magnification you can see your target more clearly from much farther away.
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    With the 42mm objective lens, you have just the right size of lens that can handle shooting with a heavy caliber.
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    The quick-focus eyepiece works as intended. You can sight your target at any zoom level much more easily.
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    The lenses glass offers a clear and bright sight. They’re all multicoated for glare resistance and scratch-resistance.
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    The 1-inch body tube is made in a single piece for greater durability, and it is sealed with nitrogen gas for proofing against fog, water, and shock.
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    The ¼ MOA adjustments on the turrets are reassuringly solid. With the quick reset, you can get back to zero in between your shots.
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    These turrets have springs built-in that assure greater accuracy repeatedly. These springs don’t make it necessary for you to refocus when you’re out hunting. They offer protection from recoil, and for the drops and bumps that can happen in the field.
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    The 4-inch eye relief is better than the average 3.5 inches, since you’re dealing with high-caliber ammunition that can cause the scope to recoil and hit your eye.
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    It’s already made with mounts that are specifically for the .308 rifle.
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    It also comes with a lifetime warranty.

-  There’s no easy way for you to calculate the drop off with the duplex reticle.

-  The quick-focus eyepiece doesn’t have a lock so you can accidentally knock it off-focus.

Vortex Optics Diamondback HP

Score: 4.7  Andrew Garfield

This is even more affordable than the first two scopes on this list, but that doesn’t mean its build quality is lower. In fact, this comes with an unlimited warranty that’s as hassle free as you can get.

With this warranty, you don’t have to be the original owner. The warranty is transferrable. There’s also no need to register it on a website or a warranty card to fill out. You don’t even need a receipt! All you need to do is show that it’s a Vortex Optics Diamondback HP, and it’s covered by the warranty.

This 12.5-inch scope doesn’t fog up either, and it’s also waterproof and shockproof. If you’re out in the field hunting, sometimes it’s inevitable that you’ll bump or drop the rifle, but this stays true.

This offers a magnification range of 3-16x, with an objective lens of 42mm. That’s big enough to let in a lot of light for a very clear and bright picture. Zooming from 4 to 16x is very smooth.

For in the field work, it also helps that you get a BDC reticle. You won’t have to adjust for the elevation for yourself since you already have the bullet drop compensation.

This comes with a 4-inch sunshade, protective caps for the lens, and a lens cloth.

Pros

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    The price is very 
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    The unlimited warranty is certainly hassle-free.
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    The wide range of magnification is great for both close range and long distance shooting.
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    The build quality is very high.
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    It gives clear glass.

Cons

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    It can be difficult to focus in the field. 
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    The 2-pound added weight can be a bit troublesome.
Leupold VX-2 3-9x40

Score: 4.8  Andrew Garfield

Leupold is one of the most trusted brands in the optics industry, and the Leupold VX-2 3-9x40 is a good example of what that’s so. It’s widely considered as the gold standard in .308 scopes for hunters. This is one scope that can take real world conditions in the brush and it will still maintain its zero no matter what.

Its price is even lower than the others on this list, yet its features and advantages are amazing. It’s very lightweight, the glass is exceptionally clear, and it doesn’t really fog up. The turrets are also conveniently adjustable with finger clicks.  The overall design is low profile and sleek.

Pros

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    It’s very lightweight as it doesn’t even weigh a pound.
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    The 4-inch eye relief is very forgiving.
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    The glass is very clear and especially crisp around the edges.
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    It picks up a light of light in
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    This will last you for many years, and it also comes with a lifetime warranty.

Cons

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    You may have some trouble focusing with the 9x magnification at targets less than 50 yards away.
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    It does fog a little every now and then, but you can still see well.
Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x4 BDC

Score: 4.7  Andrew Garfield

Nikon and Buckmasters are 2 different companies, but they partnered up to create this durable high-quality scope for the .308. 

If you want an excellent scope for your .308 and yet you don’t have the budget to go first class, this is a choice you have to consider. It’s the entree-level scope that will entice you to seek out the other Nikon scopes once you decide to upgrade. 

This is very easy to install and zero if you’re on a range. You’ll notice right away that the glass is very bright, and it seems brighter than other optics options. 

The multicoated lenses Nikon offers has this special anti-reflective system that just seems brighter, you can a clear vision with ample lighting. That quality is consistent as you try out the 3 to 9x magnification range.

Pros

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    This provides all the basic needs of the no-nonsense hunter. It’s very accurate and it stays zeroed in the field.
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    The price is a relief for bargain hunters.
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    The glass is very clear.
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    Despite the low price, you still get the Nikon lifetime warranty.

Cons

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    The eye relief isn’t exactly forgiving.
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    Focusing on the target can be an issue with 3x magnification and a distance to target of less than 30 yards.
Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x44

Score: 4.7  Andrew Garfield

This is an amazing scope to bring to a shooting range, especially with the 18x maximum magnification. At the same time, it’s also tough enough to withstand brush hunting conditions. You get the best of both worlds at a price that’s still amazingly low.

At the range with this scope, may find that at 18x magnification the image is still surprisingly very clear. At the same time, you can use this same scope for 150-yard shots and achieve small groupings.

It’s also very durable, as its 1-piece construction uses aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. It’s undeniably shockproof, and it can take the recoil and various hunting impacts. With the BDC reticle, you can see the target deer very clearly as the crosshairs are very fine indeed.

Pros

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    This also comes with the Vortex lifetime warranty.
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    It always keeps to zero.
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    It’s great for long range shooters and hunters.
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    The glass is very clear.
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    The price is extremely reasonable and low.
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    You won’t complain about the durability of the scope.

Cons

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    On the other hand, the eye relief is average at best.
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    The covers and caps can also be irritating when you’re trying to make adjustments.

As you can see, you have quite a few superb options when it comes to picking the best scope for the 308 bolt action rifle. This type of rifle is very popular especially in the US. It’s a classic with a proven history, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg when you use it to hunt or shoot on a range on a regular basis.

It’s just that to maximize the benefits of this rifle, you have to make sure that you match it with a scope that’s best for your needs. Of course, that leads to the natural question of what’s the best for you. So let’s tackle that issue head-on.

Here are other scopes that deserve a look if you’re really on a budget:

Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 Riflescope

Score: 4.7  Andrew Garfield

This one is also not expensive at all, and what cuts down on the cost is that it’s not meant for anything more powerful than a .308. It’s made with lightweight aluminum, and it comes with removable caps. 

It’s also shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof. The eye relief is average at just 3.6 inches, while the parallax setting is for 100 yards. It doesn’t weigh much at just 13.7 ounces. However, it doesn’t use a turret style. 

Instead, it has a dial that requires some sort of tool so you can make adjustments. This can be a flathead screwdriver, but you can probably use a coin or even the rim of your rifle rounds. The MOA adjustment graduation is ¼ MOA, with a max internal adjustment of 80 MOA.

Pros

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    This comes with the Nikon lifetime warranty.
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    It comes with antireflective coating and allows for 90% light transmission.
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    It’s very tough and durable.
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    This has a BDC reticle and a quick-focus eyepiece.

Cons

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    Adjusting the dial requires a tool, which makes it more difficult to adjust in the brush.
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    The finish isn’t really all that hard and it can scratch a bit too easily.
Vokul Tactical 3-9x40mm

Score: 4.2  Andrew Garfield

This is even cheaper as its price tag won’t have to go into 3 digits. The clarity is exceptional, but what sets it apart is its red laser and red dot sight system. You can acquire fast-moving targets at close quarter much more easily. This is also detachable, so you can put it away when you don’t need it.

The reticle can be in red or green with various brightness levels. The scope is also fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof. The 3 to 9mx magnification is ideal for close distance shooting, and it’s very easy to zero.

Pros

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    The price is amazingly affordable.
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    There’s a laser sight system that works well for moving targets.
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    It’s easy to zero.
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    It’s very durable.

Cons

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    It’s not for long distance shooting.
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    The eye relief is a bit too close at about 2 to 3 inches.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Best Scope for .308 Rifle

The first thing you need to consider is what you want to use the scope for. Are you going to use it mainly for the range? If that’s the case, then you’ll want a long range scope that enables you to see and hit targets from much farther away. 

The easier it is for you to hit the long distance targets, the better it is. On the other hand, you’re not really supposed to try for long distance shooting when you’re hunting. 

The goal is to hit the target like a deer on the first shot. That means you’ll need a lower magnification with a wider field of vision, while you take shots at targets no more than 400 or 500 yards away. Most hunters even just go with 250-yard shots. 

What’s more important for hunting isn’t the greater magnification, but the durability. You need a scope that can keep its zero locked in, so that you won’t have to keep refocusing due to recoil and bumps.

Here are other particular factors that must be considered:

Quality of the glass

Optics companies make their own lenses, and of course some offer better quality glass than others. The quality of the glass determines the clarity of the image, and you really do want to see clearly. In addition, you’ll want coatings to protect against scratching that can permanently mar the quality of the image.

High powered optic

This means the magnification, and it all depends on your needs. You may want only up to 9x magnification that’s best for hunting, or up to 18x magnification for the shooting range. You don’t really need a greater magnification than that, since the .308 cartridge isn’t really designed for ultra-long range shooting.

BDC reticles of a ballistic turret

BDC refers to bullet drop compensator. This is crucial for .308 scopes when you’re dealing with several elevations. You won’t have to keep making adjustments when you’re dealing with the new elevation setting of a target range. The reticle pattern already has several aiming points for different target distances.

Internal adjustment range

There are two different measurement systems used for how your scope is adjusted. There’s MOA for “minute of angle”, and then there’s MRAD with milradian. Then MOA deals with 1/60 of an angular degree, while the MRAD has 1/2000 of a radian. Either way, you need an internal adjustment rate that can cover the up and down travel of a .308 bullet. The farther you need to shoot from, the greater adjustment range you need.

Parallax adjustment

Have you ever noticed when you move your head a bit and the reticle seems to change position in relation to your target? That’s called parallax. The scope can’t focus the target and the reticle on the same optical plane, and so the parallax can lead to bad groupings or missed shots. Some scopes, however, come with a parallax correction knob corrects for this problem.

Illumination

The size of the objective lens is often the deciding factor here. What you want is a bright image, and for that you need light. With a larger objective lens, you can let in more light so you can have a brighter image. This is crucial when you want to shoot in low light conditions, such as at dusk or dawn.

Of course, there’s also the price to consider. If you can afford it, you can get the most advanced scopes that can offer several convenient features that can help you shoot in the range. On the other hand, even low-priced scopes can offer fuss-free help for hunting. A good inexpensive scope can keep zero while you shoot and bump it in the field.

How Did Scopes Become Popular?

The idea of a scope is naturally alluring, because most of us operate on sight. We just feel better when we can actually see the target we’re aiming for. That’s why the very first rifle telescopic scope actually came in way back in 1835

In 1855, a new scope came out allowed for windage and elevation adjustments. It soon became more readily available for WW I, but the main problem was that these things weren’t really all that reliable at first. 

They were very fussy, and you had to watch out for corrosion. Soldiers were advised to use it carefully and not roughly, and dust and moisture should be avoided. That made them untrustworthy tools during the trench warfare of the world war. 

For ordinary soldiers, it was much better to rely on the simple yet effective iron sights. Yet the scope would undergo numerous technological advances through the decades. 

They became more accurate, more adjustable, and much sturdier for rough conditions. At first they were only available for military personnel, law enforcement agencies, and rich shooters. 

Soon enough the best rifle scopes for .308 became more affordable and more readily available, at that’s where you are now. You can have your pick among the various scopes that can be used for the .308.

Understanding the Magnification Terminology

Did you receive what you consider the best .308 rifle scope for your birthday? If so, it’s natural for you to want to talk about it with your buddies. But they may ask questions about that you won’t understand if you’re new to the world of optics.

If that’s the case, here’s a quick primer:

You may see a number like 4 x 32 on your scope. The “4” refers to the magnification, or the number of times the target appears bigger (or closer) than it ought to be at a particular distance. ng to the 40mm lens that’s nearest to the target.

The “32” refers to the objective size of the lens on the far side of the scope. This is in mm, so that’s 32mm in size. This is what you see if you have a fixed or single power scope. 

The magnification remains constant and you can’t adjust it for targets that are closer or farther away. Now the number may look something like 3-9x40. This may seem like some sort of convoluted math term, but the basic idea remains the same. 

The magnification is 3-9x, which is the range of magnification available in your variable scope. This means you can adjust the power of the scope depending on the range and size of your target. The “40” is of course referri.

Conclusion

Are you using a .308? Then it stands to reason that you need the best scope for the 308. There’s no debating this issue. Without a scope, you can’t maximize the potential of your cartridge and rifle.

It’s true that picking the right scope can be problematic, with so many options and technical details to consider. But we’ve already solved that for you. 

Pick among our recommended scopes that fit your needs and your budget, and you’re all set. Whether you’re on the range or in the brush, you’ll see your targets more clearly and hit them more accurately with the Best Scope for .308 Rifle.

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Andrew Garfield
 

Andrew is a predator. Have years of experience in hunting with a lot of expert knowledge in hunting technique, rifle, scopes and other tools of types of equipment that used for hunting.

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