The 308 continues to be one of the most popular Rifles for a number of reasons. It’s effective, comes with a comfortable weight, and has extremely good multiple use capabilities. A rifle is only as good as its scope. We have researched into the best scopes for 308 Winchester Rifles. In this guide, we present the top 5 scopes that we believe offer the best value and all-around quality. The type of scope you purchase will be dependent on your individual circumstances, so we have made sure to explain the various differences between the scopes. The scopes we found in our research include lower priced options as well as higher tier premium options, which means you should be able to find a scope that suits your specific budget.
Firstly, it is important to explore the features that separate a good 308 scope from a bad one. We will list some of the standout components that make a scope worthy for purchase.
All of the scopes on our list fit these specific and rigid criteria to ensure that they are of the highest quality.
One of the most important considerations for the scope will be the range. This will depend on the type of range that the Rifle will be primarily used for. The .308 Winchester is capable of firing accurately to a distance of 200 yards with less than 1 MOA. After this range, the accuracy of the Rifle rapidly begins to increase. Many, therefore, will want to increase the range, and this can be accomplished through the use of a scope.
In terms of general distance, a .308 Rifle can cover 350 yards and above for long range targets. It can cover a medium distance of 150-349 yards, and a shorter distance of under 150 yards. The type of scope you need will depend on the primary purpose of your Rifle. It performs well in many situations, which makes it important to consider how it will be used. It is equally effective at short range targets and long distance targets. The addition of scope will make your shooting experience far more exciting, whether it involves hunting or a trip to the range.
For other Winchester cartridges, check the following guides:
Another important consideration will be the magnification of the scope. The .308 has a huge comparative long distance range when compared with other Rifles. However, this doesn’t limit the Rifle’s effectiveness in short range situations either. The longer your targets are the higher amount of magnification you will require. Long range targets that are especially small will require the maximum amount of magnification. We explain the specifics of this below.
For long range distances, we refer to all distances that go beyond 350 yards. This is where the true power of the .308 Rifle can be felt. These distances require .308 optics to reach with accuracy. It is important to choose a magnification lens that is higher than the 10x. The smaller your target is the greater the role that magnification will play.
Although this Rifle is more than capable of hitting long range targets, it truly excels at medium distances. In hunting, this is the best distance to aim for a large game since it usually results in a fast kill. Longer distances can result in a painful and messy death for the animal. Stress during death can also affect the eventual taste of the meat. For a medium range distance of around 150-350 yards, it is best to use a magnification figure between 6 and 9.
Once you start aiming at close range targets, high magnification will only deter your efforts rather than improving accuracy. Any shot that is under 150 yards should not be using a magnification higher than 6x. Anywhere between 1-6x will be sufficient for shooting short range targets.
The .308 recoils less when compared to other Rifle that covers a similar range. However, it does have a higher drop at longer ranges, and this is because of its lower muzzle velocity. The scopes must take into account the heavy recoil of the Rifle and must be able to withstand it. It is important to pick out a shockproof and durable scope that is able to handle repeated heavy recoils. The .308 might have less recoil than other similar Rifles, but it still fairly substantial to its inherent power.
The 4 Best 308 Scopes in 2020
Here is list of the top 4 scopes:
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II
- Nikon M-308 SF
- Leupold VX-1
- UTG Compact Scope
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective (6-24x50mm)
The first scope to make it on our list is made by Vortex Optics. They are an American manufacturer who has built up a strong reputation for producing durable scopes and other high-quality gun accessories. This particular scope includes a dead-hold BDC reticle which makes it ideal for hunting. This is a scope that is effective for medium to long distances.
The single tube construction is built for high performance. The aircraft grade aluminum provides high strength and shock-proof performance. This is a scope that is built to handle repeated heavy recoil. The build of the scope is suited well to the power of the .308. It is excellent for both tactical shooting and hunting. It works well for multiple ranges, especially where the holdover may be difficult to ascertain. The scope tracks very well, and customers have noted that it leaves impact holes at distances up to 300 yards. The magnification of 6-24x makes it a perfect fit for the .308.
There are a number of reasons why this scope is ideal for the .308 Rifle. Firstly, the scope features an adjustable objective which provides superior image focus. This can be ideal when aiming at smaller targets over long distances. Furthermore, the multi-coated lens provides further clarity even in multiple conditions. This scope is ideal for both foggy and rainy conditions due to its highly waterproof construction. The long eye relief allows you to see your target quicker which increases the chances of a successful first hit. The capped reset turrets are finger adjustable which makes them convenient to use.
- Excellent value for money
- Adjustable objective
- Effective for both medium and long distances
- Glass loses clarity on higher magnifications
- Night-time vision gets a bit foggy
This scope is incredibly good value for money when taking into account its performance and array of features. We recommend it for anyone who primarily uses their .308 for mid to long ranges; and those who like to hunt in multiple conditions. This is a scope that is built for high performance and built to last long term. Would also be a perfect choice for the 6.5 Creedmoor.
2. Nikon M-308 SF 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ Nikoplex Reticle
The second Riflescope to make it on our list is made by Nikon. They are one of the most recognizable optics companies in the world and were founded 101 years ago in Japan. The scopes that they make are well known for having precise optics. This particular scope is ideal for medium to long distances.
This scope belongs to the Nikon, ‘M Series’ which have a focus on precision for heavy duty rifles. The caliber precision technology is created specifically for long range rifles in order to provide a superior level of optics. This works well for long range shooting with the .308 Rifle. The large magnification levels and quick zoom control means that targets can easily be switched. The heavy recoil of the .308 is managed well through 4 inches of constant eye relief. This is a scope that features a fully multicoated optical system that provides excellent brightness for all conditions in both daytime and nighttime.
The enhanced mount ring spacing is one of the standout features of this scope. The build of the scope is also fairly impressive. It is waterproof, shockproof and fog proof which makes it ideal for a number of different conditions. The .308 is a Rifle that is built to perform for a multitude of situations, and this is a scope that complements that aspect very well. It is designed for heavy recoil and rugged use which makes it a perfect fit for the .308.
- Glass is excellent
- Excellent build
- Easy to use
- No owners manual
- Turret markings aren’t particularly bright
- Eye relief could be better
This a high optics scope built for serious shooters. Its capability of handling a number of environments with ease added to its simplicity of use make it the perfect companion for the .308. We recommend this scope for those seeking high optics and high performance.
2. Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope
We have covered two scopes above that are built well for medium and long ranges. However, our third scope is a specialist at covering short to medium ranges. It is made by Leupold who are an American manufacturer of sports optics. They were established in 1907 and remain proud family owned. Their family name has been kept in good hands with the consistent delivery of world-class scopes. This scope is super precise and excellent at covering shorter ranges.
This scope features a versatile 3:1 erector system that makes it ideal for every possible situation that you may find yourself in. The ¼ MOA precision finger click adjustments make the scope highly dependable. This is a scope that is also extremely high in clarity which makes it a good choice for focusing in on shorter range targets. The Multicoat 4 lens system has a high-quality contrast and the bright-sight works extremely well even in the darkest conditions. The result is an incredibly vivid picture that can be seen properly even in poor visibility conditions. The versatile zoom ratio makes it easy to switch between shorter and more medium ranges. The ballistic aiming system ensures that your accuracy will be maximized throughout these different ranges.
Fog Proof and waterproof are often terms thrown around for many scopes. However, in this case, the protection is particularly powerful which makes the scope excellent to use in all conditions. The eye relief has also been praised by customers who said they were able to use the scope for long periods of time without suffering fatigue. The scope is durable and compact, and one significant benefit of the scope is its lightweight. It is significantly lighter than many similar scopes which makes it more comfortable.
- Crisp image in all conditions
- Built well to withstand multiple conditions
- No mil dots
- Adjustments could be slightly better
- Clarity can vary depending on the range
For shorter ranges, this is a high-quality scope that boasts versatility and excellent optics. It is suited to the .308 because of its rugged build, and it is effective at short to medium ranges due to its world-class lens system that operates well in so many conditions. We recommend this to shooters who won’t be regularly taking on long-range targets with their rifle.
4. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO
Thus far, we have covered three incredibly high-quality scopes. They all offer excellent value for money; however, some of you may have a more restrictive budget. We have researched all the cheaper options and found that the UTG offers the highest performance on a budget. Leapers UTG recently opened a USA manufacturing branch in Michigan which has allowed them to expand their operations and to make use of USA manufacturer parts for their scopes and other Rifle accessories. This compact scope is an example of their high-quality craftsmanship.
This 30-millimeter scope features a SWAT 3-12X44 IE tactical range which makes it a good fit for the .308 Rifle. It features full mil-dot, and a complete 36 color EZ tap reticle. These features make it a good option for both medium and long ranges. It is suited to handle the heavy recoil of the .308 because of its housing design that provides consistent illumination even with repeated rounds.
The 30-millimeter tube is crafted with an emphasis on high durability. The design is built to last , even under the most demanding tests. A .308 can sure give a tough test to any Rifle, but this is a scope that is more than capable of handling whatever is thrown at it. The tube has a multi-coated emerald lens that allows excellent light transmission which provides superior clarity. It is shockproof, waterproof and fog proof. The scope features premium zero locking and zero targeting turrets with a precise level of adjustment. This makes it suitable for quickly changing ranges with the .308.
- High-quality budget option
- Tough and durable construction
- Excellent performance for medium to long ranges
- The knob can be stiff to use
- Elevation adjustment has a tendency to pop out
- A little heavy for its size
5. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescope
We have covered 4 scopes that meet a range of budgets, and that can perform in all ranges. The last scope on our list is the best for meeting the demands of high distance shooting. It is made by Vortex who is an American manufacturer founded in 2004. In that time, they have been known for making precise and reliable optics for a number of different uses. This second focal plane Riflescope provides world-class accuracy for long range shooting.
The Viper HS-T 6-24×50 is crafted for the purpose of long range hunting. It is incredibly accurate at holding over long ranges. It suits the .308 well as it is designed to handle the power of the Rifle and make it far more accurate at ranges over 300 yards. The length of the barrel is around 15.5 inches. The extra low dispersion of the scope provides excellent resolution and color fidelity even at long ranges. This provides a sharper image that can be more quickly sighted. The exposed turrets are built for quickly locating long range targets. They are finger adjustable and have the capability of returning to zero capability. The 4x zoom provides versatility in the magnification which makes it easy to target different long ranges.
The one-piece tube of the scope is ring sealed and argon purged. This provides it with ultimate waterproof protection and makes it fogproof. The ultra-strong aluminum tube is designed to provide increased windage and give optimal adjustment. The precision is incredible, and it remains even in with repeated use. This long scope is highly versatile which makes it a great match for the .308. The VMR-1 MOA is a perfect second plane focal reticle that makes it easy to track long-range moving targets.
- Excellent precision for the longest ranges
- Very positive tactile feedback
- Premium build quality
- Loses a bit of movement at 24x magnification
- Windage turret a bit difficult to use
- Changing to a different power requires a bit of force
This long scope comes at an excellent price when its features are taken into account. We looked at many long range scopes, and none of them came close to this quality offering. If you need a consistent scope for long ranges, then this Vortex Optics scope is simply an essential purchase.
We made sure to conduct thorough research to ensure that the scopes we picked out met our rigorous quality standards. All of these scopes are built to last, and they have excellent feedback from long-time users of them. The 308 Rifle remains one of the most coveted Rifles, but it needs a reliable scope to really utilize its strengths. You will now have a much clearer idea of what separates the cream of the crop from the rest, and which features particularly stand out when looking for a 308 scope.