We’re on a quest to find the best scope for a .300 Winchester Magnum.
Once again, we need to understand the caliber to determine the best scope for a .300 Win Mag. If you are looking for an accurate, long-range caliber, the .300 Winchester Magnum should be on the top of your list to research.
Introduced by Winchester in 1963 the .300 Win Mag is still a popular caliber for hunters and long-range shooters. Nine years ago, the Army picked this cartridge for its M2010 sniper rifle. In 2018 the Marine Corps chose this round for its Mk13 M7 sniper rifle. This dispels any doubts about the effectiveness and accuracy of the .300 Win Mag.
There are two “flavors” to this caliber. Don’t get confused when you see .300 Win Mag and 300 Win Short Mag.
Both of these rounds are capable of a long reach while packing a strong punch. The main difference is the 300 Win Mag is a “standard-length” cartridge. It fits actions designed for 30-06 length cartridges. The 300 Win Short Mag is designed to fit 308-length rifle actions. The fatter diameter gives it the necessary powder volume to make up for its shorter length.
.300 Win Mag considerations for the hunter..
Offered in a variety of bullet weights the .300 Win Mag packs the power for medium to long distance hunting. Distances of 250 to 1000 yards are well within the range with this caliber. Hunters all over the world can count on a level shooting, potent cartridge for lightweight to large medium weight game. That being said, this caliber packs a big punch and is not ideal for a whitetail deer or antelope at 200 yards. Optimum results are achieved when the bullet weight and construction are matched to the animal and hunting environment. A deer or elk, standing broadside at 500 yards, across the ravine, will not need as heavy a powder grain as an angry bull moose charging at you.
For the long-distance shooters, competitive shooters and law enforcement:
The most common use for the .300 Win Mag is in the hunting world, but it is also popular with distance shooters, law enforcement, and competitive shooters. These long-distance shooters appreciate the flatter trajectories of the is .300 Win Mag. A 150-grain slug travels at 3,200 fps and more. A 165s travels at 3,100 plus. The fastest speeds are when a 180-grain bullet is used. The results are a solid 3,000 fps or just under. The power in this caliber makes it ideal for long distance shooting while still having knock down power.
What is the best scope for a .300 Win Mag?
The best scope for a .300 Winchester Magnum is going to be a scope that can reach out to long distances. Remember the .300 Win Mag can shoot up to 1000 yards and has been known to reach 1300 yards. The power that this caliber has requires a quality scoop that can hold up to the recoil of the gun. A scope with precise parallax adjustments for windage and bullet drop will also be desirable.
Editors note: we wrote a whole piece on parallax adjustments and reticles in the best AR-15 scopes this year article from earlier this year.
Another thing to consider is the scope coating. Long distance shooting requires a scope that will reduce glare and allow light into the scope. This is where spending a little more for your .300 Win Mag scope is worth it. The saying, “Your gun is only as good as the optics!”, really rings true with the distance shooting of .300 Win Mag.
- Coated – single layer on at least one lens surface on the scope
- Fully Coated – single layer on all glass surfaces exposed to air
- Multicoated – multiple layers on at least one lens surface
- Fully multicoated – multiple layers on all glass surfaces exposed to air.
Lastly is the budget. There are $50 scopes out there, but they rarely have the clarity, durability or quality needed for a .300 Winchester Magnum. There are also scopes that will cost $1,000 or more. If you can afford them, more power to you. These scopes are made by high quality manufactures and have the specifications needed to live up to the cost. Don’t panic yet. Most of us can’t afford thousand-dollar scopes. Available on the market are scopes that fall in between these price ranges. It takes some research to find the one that is best for your shooting scenario and budget.
Taking all of this into consideration, our team at Rangefinder.com has compiled a list of what we feel is the top five .300 Win Mag scopes. This list is for the shooter with entry to mid-level budget.
The Best Scope For a .300 Win Mag Without Blowing a Budget
#1 Leupold VX-2
The top quality and performance the Leupold VX-2 brings it in at #1 for the Best Scope for a .300 Win Mag without blowing a budget. It will run a few hundred dollars but not in the thousands. Click here for the best price.
- Easy parallax adjustment
- ¼ MOA precision finger click adjustments for windage and elevation
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Brightness, clarity, and contrast needed for all lighting conditions
- 3:1 Zoom Ratio
- Custom Dial System
- Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee
- 30mm main tube made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum alloy
Shooting at long distances. in any weather condition will be possible with this 4x12x40 mm compact waterproof, fog-proof rifles scope. Adjusting for parallax is easy with the ¼ MOA finger click adjustments. The CDS (Custom Dial System) allows for dialing in your elevation to different sight-in ranges with a custom-adjustments that match up to your specific ballistics information. Leupold takes pride in its products and backs up this scope with a full lifetime warranty.
- Same quality as scopes which cost twice as much
- Generous eye
- ¼ MOA adjustments
- Hold zero
- Lifetime warranty
- Need to purchase scope rings separate
#2 Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane
The four different size options and two types of reticle options of the Vortex Optics Strike Eagle are why it comes in second place on our list. Click here for the best price.
- 4 sizes
- 1-6×24 – BDC MOA
- 1-8×24 – BDC2 MOA
- 3-18×44 – Ebr-4 MOA
- 4-24×50 – Ebr – 4 MOA
- Built to execute technical, short-to-long range shots
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- Second focal plane reticle
- Parallax runs on a CR2032 battery
- Zero-resettable, tactical style turrets
- Single piece, 30mm tube
- O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for waterproof and fog-proof performance
- Vortex lifetime warranty
The Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescope Series by Vortex makes executing technical, short and long-range shots. This is accomplished with a powerful lightweight package that adapts to a wide range of scenarios from close to long range shooting. You can rely on accurate and repeatable performance. The options of either BDC or Ebr MOA second focal plane reticles will not change in size when you change the magnification. The fully multi-coated lenses produce a clear, and bright image that allows for target acquisition when it counts. The tactical style turrets have clearly marked adjustments rotation indicators for accurate dialing and reference of travel within the optic’s adjustment range. This is all built on a 30mm tube that can withstand recoil and impact. Weather conditions will not be a problem with this waterproof and fog-proof scope.
- 4 different sizes
- 4 different reticle options
- Great scope for the money
- Zero resettable, tactical style turrets
- Vortex Lifetime warranty
- Illumination isn’t as bright as most people would like
- Scope rings are sold separately
- The scope caps are not flip up
#3 Burris 4.5x-14×42 mm Fullfield II Ballistic Plex
Third on the list is the Burris 4.5x-14×42 mm Fullfield ii ballistic Plex This is an excellent choice for the shooter who has entry to mid-level budget. Click here for the best price.
- Ballistic Plex reticle
- Long-range accuracy
- Can match with any caliber or bullet weight
- Parallax adjustments
- Fullfield II variable power 4.5x14x42 mm adjustable objective
- 1-piece tube construction
- Reinforced quad-seal gas seals
- Waterproof, fog-proof and shockproof
- Burris Forever warranty
- Hi-Lume Multi-coated lenses
This affordable scope is popular with long-distance hunters, with good reason. At the 4.5 setting, you will have a wide field of view, allowing for quicker target acquisition. At the highest end of magnification, the scope reaches out to some serious distances. The Ballistic Plex reticle is the simplest and effective trajectory-compensating reticle for hunting. The Fullfield II Ballistic Plex Riflescope can be matched with any caliber or bullet weight. The 1-piece construction is durable, waterproof, fog proof and shockproof. This is backed by Burris’ Forever warranty.
- Wide field of view for quick target acquisition
- Can be matched with your specific ammunition and load
- Affordable price
- 1-piece tube construction
- Multi-coated lenses
- Water, fog and shockproof
- Forever warranty
- Does not come with lens caps
- Vortex Crossfire II Riflescope series
Vortex shows up again on our list for the best scope for a .300 Winchester Magnum. Fourth on our list is the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective, Second Focal Plane Series. This scope comes in 5 different sizes: 4-12×40 Dead-hold BDC MOA, 4-12×50 Dead-hold BDC MOA, 6-18×44 Dead-Hold BDC MOA, 6-18×44 V-Brite Illuminated MOA, 6-18×44 V-Plex MOA. With this many configurations, a long-distance shooter should be able to find the scope to suit there needs without breaking the bank. Click here for the best price.
- Multiple sizes available
- Multiple reticle types available
- The adjustable objective provides image focus and parallax removal to the shooter
- Multi-coated lenses
- Long eye relief
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA
- Single piece tube constructed from aircraft grade aluminum
- Shockproof, waterproof and fog proof
With multiple magnifications and reticle options, a long-distance shooter should be able to find the scope for most shooting scenarios. This is a quality series of scopes that won’t break the bank. Multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear view while the adjustable objective provides image focus and parallax removal to the shooter. The Vortex Crossfire II Riflescope series has a long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, allowing for quick target acquisition. Zeroing in the scope is easy with capped reset turrets that are finger adjustable MOA clicks. You can rely on the scope to be durable with the single tube construction. Nitrogen purged and O-ring seals make the scope water and fog proof.
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The video above is this scope on a 450 Bushmaster.
- Good for hunting/shooting at varying ranges where estimating holdover is a concern
- Bright, clear view
- Long eye relief
- Fast target acquisition
- Easy reticle focusing
- 1 tube construction
- Water, fog proof
- Good scope for the money
- Full VIP warranty
- Need to buy scope rings separate
#5 Nikon BuckMasters II 3-9x40mm BDC
The affordable price combined with its quality makes Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40 mm BDC our fifth choice for the best scope for a .300 Winchester Magnum. Click here for the best price.
- Multi-layered lenses
- Optimum light transmission in any lighting scenario
- Positive-click reticle adjustments
- Can zero in quickly and maintain setting
- Hold up to heavy recoil
- Can be matched for specific ammunition and load
An entry-level long-distance shooter, who does not have a big budget, will find the Nikon BuckMasters II 3-9x40mm BDC an excellent choice. Nikon has put anti-reflective compounds on every glass surface. This provides a bright vivid picture and optimum light transmission in all lighting scenarios. The reticle adjustments make it easy to zero in and maintain your setting. The scope will hold up to heavy recoil.
- Multi-coated lenses
- BDC Reticle
- Easy to zero in and maintains setting
- Excellent low light collection
- Great scope for the price
- Can be to short for some bolt action rifles (has a 5 ¼ “ tube length)
The Nikon has produced a quality product for the cost. The Nikon BuckMasters II would be a good choice for any long-distance shooter with a lower budget.
Understanding the caliber, and knowing your shooting scenarios will help you pick out what is the best scope for .300 Winchester Magnum rifles. This is an excellent all-around caliber for the hunter, long-distance shooter and law enforcement.