Shooting sports and hunting are two very well enjoyed activities by people from across the country. The excitement and the adrenaline spike associated with the activities cannot be ignored, and it pulls in thousands of people to participate or watch the event.
Since it was released in 1952, the .308 Winchester has been one of the most popular rifles on the market for good reason.
Available in every rifle action type from bolt to lever and semi auto, the .308 cartridge brings many advantages. It’s got a solid weight and velocity, without a poor recoil. The rifle itself doesn’t weigh a ton and it’s a compact option for most outdoorsmen.
Despite it’s many advantages for the modern shooter, it’s pretty rare that you’ll find a .308 rifle with an iron sight system. Buying a scope is not only a must for the convenience, but because it allows hunters to practice better ethics in the field.
Knowing just how many scopes are available today makes choosing one a daunting task. So, this article is aimed at helping you choose the best .308 scope. We have done the research and come up with some of the best scopes which go well with any .308. Take a look at it and make an informed decision.
Best .308 Scopes
1. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope – Rapid Action Turrets
This item has earned Editors’ Choice for its outstanding quality and performance.
Currently, the Nikon M-308 scope is available only in one configuration, which is 4-16X42mm. The reason why it has such high magnification is that most of the .308 shooters push the cartridge to its limit. This makes it a necessity to have high magnification. Another explanation for the configuration is that the expansion of M-223 range which would help them bring out other economy models to reduce the risk for the company.
The scope is loaded with features and works right for any .308. It has the BDC 800 reticle which is great for people who prefer the speed of a holdover type reticle. Each holdover in the scope corresponds to a specific distance, making it extremely easy for you to target. Set the holdover to the distance of the target and aim. It is as easy as that. Unlike the other Nikon models of scopes where it has different circles to denote holdovers, the M-308 has circles, hash marks, and dots which delivers numerous holdover points across the distance of 800 meters.
The M-308 comes with a dial-in or holdover configuration. The NikoPlex reticle is featured in the dial-in version and is combined with Nikon’s Rapid Action Turrets. The Rapid Action Turrets are customized elevation dials for the .308. This makes the whole affair simple. You find out the distance to the target, get the corresponding distance by rotating the turret, place the crosshair at the center of the target and pull the trigger.
It has a mount which is a one-piece solid base with integrated rings is featured with the scope. The Tactical Turrets are adjustable by finger and can be easily reset to zero. A side focus parallax adjustment is adapted for correcting the parallax with ease. Click here to see the best price.
- Rapid Action Turrets for ease of use
- Tactical Turrets for correcting the parallax
- M-308 mount
- Large magnification
- The mount has to be bought separately
- The eye relief might not be great over 8X magnification
2. Bushnell AR Optics Rifle Series Scope – Fast Focus Eyepiece
Time and again it has to be mentioned that Bushnell is one of the pioneers of manufacturing scopes and instruments which measure distance. They have been on the market for so long that they know how to build a scope which would tick all the boxes. They have done the same when they launched the Bushnell AR Optics scopes. Loaded with features, it is one of the best scopes available for .308 in the market.
Like the Nikon M-308, Bushnell AR comes with a side focus parallax correction feature which is highly effective to correct parallax in any long shooting range. Long distance shooting has never been so much fun as the scope corrects the parallax and gives you the perfect aim. The BDC reticle comes with the scope delivers accurate targets anywhere from 104 yards to over five hundred yards. The caliber-specific reticle helps in providing precision with every round. The target turret allows high precision adjustments and the 1/4 MOA click value help in precise adjustment especially useful for long distance shooting.
The BDC reticle is fully multi-coated which provides great clarity of vision and brightness even in the worst of lighting. The viewer can easily get a sharp, clear and crisp image of the target with ease. The scope comes with a fast focus eyepiece, which is ideal for rapid acquisition of targets. The magnification of the scope ranges from 4.5X to 18X, making it a great scope for hunting and long distance shooting. Click here to see the best price.
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Side focus parallax correction feature
- Multi-coated optics
- 5X to 18X magnification
- The relief might not be as comfortable
- The image might not be clear while focusing on long distance
Related: Best Red Dot Sights
3. Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescope – Extra-Low Dispersion Glass For Clear Images
Diamondback scope offers a wide range of features which is appreciated by both hunters and shooting enthusiasts. Taking into account the ease of use and also the accuracy it delivers, Diamondback has manufactured the right type of scope with this one. With high-resolution images and great color fidelity, you get the greatest precision with the Vortex Optics.
Optically, the scope has extra-low dispersion (XD) glass which helps in bettering the color fidelity, sharpness, crispness, and the resolution of the images. Light transmission is enhanced by having the optics multicoated with anti-reflective coating. It has an ideally shaped appearance when it comes to the scale of the reticle.
The size of the tube is one inch in diameter. It is constructed of aluminum which is of aircraft quality. This ensures the strength and water resistant ability of the scope. It has O-rings which seals moisture and dust from entering the device. Internal fogging is prevented by the use of argon filling, and its rugged construction can withstand severe impacts with ease. Smooth magnification is ensured by the use of premium components in the zoom lens. The turrets can be reset to zero with ease, and the side focus parallax correction is an amazing feature for better usability. The fast focus feature allows quick and easy focusing of the reticle. Click here to see the best price.
- 4-16X42mm magnification
- Multi-coated protection
- Extra-low dispersion glass for clear images
- The turret would not hold zero with ease
- Can mirage over 14X magnification
4. Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm – Best Value For Money
Like Bushnell, Leupold is another brand of scope manufacturers who are well established in the market. Their success is due to some of their older models which were the pioneers among the rifle scopes ever developed. But with time, it is important to adapt, and Leupold has done exactly that with their revolutionary product – Leupold VX-2. Leupold has remodeled their old classics to suit the style and features which are necessary for the current generation, and they have not disappointed. Bolstered to match the modern demands, VX-2 is able to stay faithful to its origin.
Leupold uses advanced optics to make the VX-2 model. It delivers diverse reticle options, high-quality design practices, ease of control, and a lifetime warranty, which is something we cannot ignore. It has a decent magnification of 3-9X with an objective lens of 40mm diameter. The scope is robust in its built and delivers performance better than many high-end scopes. The fast focus features enable you to focus on targets with relative ease. The eyepiece gives a good amount of eye relief, making it very comfortable to use. With sturdy construction, it is a scope which can withstand a good impact. It is multi-coated to be fog proof. Click here to see the best price.
- Durable and high-quality construction
- Value for money
- Up to 94% light transmission
- Leupold Gold Ring Lifetime Guarantee
- Not suitable for tactical long range shooting
5. Nikon Buckmasters II – Open Circle Range Compensation Markers
Nikon gets featured on this list for the second time with the Buckmasters II scope. Buckmaster, I was a real winner, and when it comes to its successor, we have a lot more to get excited about. It is a step up from its predecessor and does justice to the brand Nikon. Featuring a 40mm objective lens, the scope allows light to enter it effortlessly. The width of the glass is 44mm, leaving enough space between the rifle and the scope. The eye relief can be a little short, and it might end up being an issue if you are someone who wears glasses. The scope has a magnification of 3-9X which combined with the 40mm objective lens becomes the ideal scope to for hunting an long range shooting. It delivers HD quality images.
The light transmission is maximized by having the optics multi-color coated, and it gives a pretty clear and bright image. Having the quick focus feature is an added advantage when you want to lock on to your target quickly. The optic chambers of the scope are nitrogen purged, and it is sealed using O-rings. This makes the scope water and fog proof. The overall build is sturdy, and the scope can take an impact without any damage. Over that, the scope is covered by a limited lifetime warranty, making your life much easier in case of any issues. Click here to see the best price.
- Open circle range compensation markers
- BDC Reticle
- Nitrogen purged, O-ring sealed chambers
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Rings not included with the scope
- Non-illuminated reticle
- Eye relief is short
Related: Best .308 Rifles Ever Built
Buying Guide – Things to look out for when buying a .308 scope
Buying a .308 rifle scope can be a tough task. As there are numerous scopes of different shapes, sizes, and features available in the market, it can get a bit tricky when you are off to purchase one. So, this part of the article will feature the factors you have to take into consideration before the purchase of a .308 scope. Read through and make an informed decision.
The size determines the magnification of the scope. So, the size has to be chosen depending on the magnification and ease of use.
With greater magnification, you get a better range. So, the optical power of the scope will determine the range of the scope. If you are looking for a scope which works well for long range shooting, it is better to go for a scope which has greater optical power.
The three common types of reticles are Duplex, Mildot, and BDC. The one which suits you the best should be figured out and bought.
There are two types of focal planes – First Focal Plane (FFP) and Second Focal Plane (SFP). The majority of scopes used these days have SFP. SFP means that the reticle stays the same size even while magnifying.
When the head is slightly moved, the reticle may appear to change position with respect to the target. This is the simplest explanation of parallax. This happens when the scope is not able to focus on the target and can lead to missing a shot.
Related: Best AR Scopes Under $200
MOA or MRAD
The scope can be adjusted on the basis of Minute of Angle (MOA) or MilRadian (MOA). It is up to the user to choose MOA or MRAD depending on their comfort.
Budget and Need
But in the end, it all depends on the budget you have allocated for the scope and the requirements you have. If you have already set the budget and noted down the features you require, it will be easier for you to cut down the options and choose the one that suits you.
Choosing a scope for you .308 can be tough. But following this article will give you a fair idea about some of the best scopes available in the market and also the things you should look out for when in search of a scope. So, how this helps you make a solid purchase.