In order for the .308 rifle to get near perfect results, there's a rifle accessory that you just can't do without:
The correct and best 308 rifle scope... especially if shooting long range.
Unfortunately, finding that best scope for a 308 isn't easy to do.
That is why I have created this list for you to find the Best Scope for a 308 Hunting Rifle.
Top 5 Best Scope for 308 Rifles
- Vortex Diamondback HP 4-16x42mm
- Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm
- Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm
- Vortex Crossfire II AO 6-18-44mm
- Nikon M-308
I've spent a lot of time researching and testing a lot of different optics for a .308 carbine and have been able to narrow down the list to the top 5 best 308 scopes which you can buy right now.
nikon buckmasters II
Best Rifle Scopes for 308 in 2018 - Top 5
These scopes may not be for everyone as some of them carry a higher price tag.
With that said, these rifle scopes are good enough to make our list of the Top 4 best rifle scopes for a .308 to buy in 2018, and for good reason. Below are my .308 scope recommendations:
Best 308 Rifle Scopes
(High End Pick)
Why didn’t I include other Popular 308 rifle scopes on my top 5 list?
Lots of people are wondering why I didn’t include some of the other .308 rifle scopes like the Trijicon ACOG 3×32 on my Top 4 list? After reviewing them, the answer is simple.
- These 308 optics are very expensive.
- Honestly, they don’t really deliver any better experience compared to the less expensive .308 optics on the market.
- There are some extra features added on that aren’t necessary unless you’re in the military (ie. military grade materials).
So, in simple words, you are paying for unnecessary features that drive up the price. Some of you may not mind the extra features and don’t mind the higher price tag, but for most, we want to find the best .308 rifle scope for the money.
For now, these rifle optics are a little expensive, especially if you are just looking for something to get the job done or are on a budget.
However, we believe that these rifle scopes are ok if you are the type of person who is not on a budget and wants the extra features as these scopes and other high tier scopes are definitely high quality.
.308 Rifle Quick Overview
The .308 Winchester has always been a popular choice for shooters and hunters because it is relatively economical, manageable recoil, and its ability to hunt medium to large sized game.
That being said, it doesn’t offer the same performance as larger calibre rifle such as the .300 Win Mag or 7mm Rem Mag, so your choice of scope is that much more important. The .308 replaced the 30-06 rifle for military use in the 1980s.
A 308 cartridge is great all round hunting rifle for medium to large sized animals, depending on what grain ammunition you are loading, your accuracy, and distance.
I personally don’t like shooting large game at long distances with a 308 for ethical reasons but it sure does take down deer or hogs at almost any distance.
In terms of deciding which scope you should mount on your .308 hunting rifle, I recommend spending about half as much as you spent on the rifle.
Technology has improved far enough that you can definitely get away with a $200 scope if you choose – it just may not be quite as accurate or last quite as long.
Considerations for the Best 308 Rifle Scope
Before buying a 308 rifle scope, talk to your hunting and shooting buddies to get their advice. There is no substitute for doing your homework!
Decide how far you plan on shooting. What is your ideal or most likely shot?
For me, I want a scope that can provide the accuracy for at least a 300 yard shot. I find that is at the high end for most of the hunting I do and to be honest, if you are worrying about making a 600 yard shot, you probably aren’t giving yourself the best chance for hunting success.
If you are looking for the best rifle scope for a .308, consider buying a good quality spotting scope.
These will allow you to see greater distances to spot wildlife and are often used on the shooting range so you can see exactly where your bullet is hitting the target. This way you can really fine tune your scope!
If that isn’t in your price range today, do yourself a favor and save some more money before “pulling the trigger” on buying a new scope.
There are a lot of brands out there making quality and affordable scopes for a 308. See "A Complete List of the Best Rifle Scope Brands (Including Most Affordable Rifle Scope Brands)" for a listing of the most popular brands.
Best Rifle Scopes for a 308 Reviewed
1. Vortex Optics Diamondback HP - Best Scope for 308 Rifle To Buy in 2018
The Vortex Diamondback High Performance offers clear glass throughout the magnification range in front of its durable and rugged design.
The scope has the side parallax adjustment which is a bonus at the price range.
It comes with a healthy 4” eye relief which is very comfortable and relatively easy to sight in.
Vortex is known for building quality scopes at various price ranges and this is no exception. This is really the best vortex scope for a 308.
Another bonus with buying a Vortex optic is that it comes with one of the best warranties included.
- Unlimited Lifetime Warranty
- Fully Transferable
- No warranty card to fill out
- No receipt needed to hang on to
While reviewing this scope I looked to see if it would let me shoot at a long distance and would not break the bank so I mounted this scope on my .308, went out to the range to test the scope there and then headed out on a 4 day hunting excursion in the back country with a buddy.
Happy to report that between all the rounds I put through it at the range before hand and during the hunt, it held perfectly zero. I also noticed that the scope never fogged up at all, which has been the case for me sometimes with other more expensive brands.
I shot about 60 rounds at the range and was really happy as it was very clear and lets in a lot of light, something that I always look for in my scopes. even in the shade it did a great job.
I also really liked the side AO and zooming from 4 to 16 was very very smooth.
A draw back to this scope is that it is pretty heavy (2 lbs) when compared to other rifle scopes for mobility. It’s not something I would ever want to mount for a tactical use.
It also isn’t the best scope to take in the brush, sometimes it would have a hard time focusing.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this scope. It comes with BDC reticle, something that is a must for me when hunting because I don't have time to mess with the elevation adjustments in the field.
And I especially like this scope's BDC reticle because I like the hash marks instead of circles that sometimes come on other BDC reticles (such as with Nikon).
The glass was my favorite feature and a rifle is only as good as the piece of glass it's wearing (referring to its rifle scope).
This Vortex is currently selling with a sunshade and lens cover, however it doesn’t come with scope rings. Make sure you don’t cheap out – buy quality scope rings.
2. Leupold VX-2 3-9x40 - Best Scope for 308 Long Range
One of my favorite rifle scopes built by one of the industry's most trusted brands is Leupold's VX-2 Scope.
If you want a quality scope and one of the best .308 scopes that will withstand all the abuse that you can throw at it while maintaining zero, this is my recommendation.
With solid reviews from hunters and shooters alike, Leupold continues to impress with this product.
The VX-2 is light, exceptionally clear, and does not fog up easily. It comes with finger click adjustable turrets which are convenient.
You can't beat Leupold for the price. With this scope and after sighting it in using the proper techniques, I was consistently shooting sub-MOA out to 300 yards and MOA at 400 yards. Although I typically don't shoot above 400 yards (my average deer shot is 200-250 yards), it sure is nice knowing that this scope allows me to have that extra reach.
It has a sleek design and low profile and the clarity is really really great.
At the range, sighting in the scope was pretty easy and took me only a few round to get a 1" grouping.
I always love using these scope reviews to get me out there to hunt, and so of course, that's what I did.
I found an 8 point buck at around 150 yards at dusk, 10 min to sundown and the picture was still very bright. Needless to say, I got him. For the money, it did the job.
When comparing this to the Vortex Diamondback HP, this Leupold almost won. There were a few things that almost made me choose the Leupold over the Vortex as the best .308 rifle scope:
- Weight is much lighter than the Diamondback HP, weighing in at a little under 1 lb!
- Seemed to be a little more crisp around the edges
- Eye relief felt a little more forgiving than the Vortex Diamondback HP
The only downside is that the adjustments may not hold up to continued use. Many shooters like to dial-in adjustments for varying reasons instead of holding over or under.
Overall the Leupold is a great optic and is particularly a great rifle scope for a .308 if you are a hunter.
It was close on my list to take the top spot, but in the end, the Vortex Diamondback HP took the lead as I felt the glass was just slightly better (barely) and Ifavor the Vortex BDC reticles.
Regardless, the Leupold is one of the best .308 scopes for a hunting rifle and really one of the best Leupold scopes for a 308.
3. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm - Best 308 Scope for the money on a Budget
Nikon is a great brand in the rifle scope world, and the Buckmasters II lives up to the Nikon name.
The Nikon Buckmasters II rifle scope is a super affordable 308 scope. When you see a scope that’s so affordable, you might wonder if its made to cheap, or low quality, or something. Like, what's the catch?
But the Buckmasters II has withstood the criticisms of a skeptical market, and it’s withstood the test of time.
It's an affordable high quality scope made for the masses and is perfect for a .308 rifle.
It has a BDC reticle with see-through ballistic circles for long-range hunters and when its used with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology, you can maintain accurate shots for various distances for your ammunition and load.
It’s fully waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof to withstand a lot of abusive. It’s factory-set at 100 yards and the fully multi-coated optics has optimum light transmission for very clear image quality.
If you're on a budget or looking for the best 308 scope for the money, then you’ll want the high quality simplicity of the Nikon Buckmaster II.
Some advanced hunters consider it a little basic, because it has no illumination and it has a pretty tight eye relief but for the price, you shouldn't expect it to be perfect. If you're on a budget, the Nikon Buckmasters II Riflescope 39x40mm is the best thing that you could purchase.
4. Vortex Crossfire II AO 6-18x44mm - Best 308 Scope for Hunters
Success of hunting depends immensely on the vision of the shooter. But our natural vision is limited and this is where the Vortex Crossfire II 6-18mm AO comes in. It helps to eliminate handicaps of low vision and the inability for sustained visual attention. It currently comes in three variations: Dead-Hold BDC, V-Brite and V-Plex.
What's cool about the Crossfire II is that it's made from aircraft-grade aluminum with sealed O-rings for strength.
It also has fully multicoated lenses that provide maximum light transmission and optimal brightness and an illuminated reticle that offers great performance in low-light conditions.
It's a super durable rifle scope that is perfect for the long range needs of a 308 rifle.
The Vortex Crossfire II riflescope is ideal for the myriads of hunting or shooting enthusiasts out there with all of its features and its range. This scope will not only help the hunter to reduce wasting ammo but will also make the experience quite memorable.
And for the price, it's a great high quality rifle scope with a tone of features.
5. Nikon M-308 Rifle Scope - Best High End Scope for 308 AR & for Long Range
With the Nikon M-308, you’ll have a high end scope in a different category from the other 308 scopes on this list. Not only is this a Nikon, a well known brand in the rifle optics world, but it was specifically developed to be used with high-caliber rifles that can shoot long-range, such as the .308 Winchester.
Even at the highest magnification, you get an amazing field of view on the 42mm lens. It's built tough and durable so expect a long life, and better be long at this price. You’ll find it excellent for hunting big game.
The scope has a waterproof/fog-proof scope that can be used in lots of different weather conditions and it works great at any light level. Adjusting is easy as well.
One thing I noticed about the M-308 was that I never experience any eye fatigue! When you're hunting and tracking and getting ready for a long range shot, you’ll find is ideal for the big game and even for long-distance target shooting.
This scope is one of the best scope for 308 AR Centerfire Long Range AR and shooters will find it accurate in the 600 to 800 range, since it provides good compensation for bullet drop.
Final Thoughts on 308 Scopes
When trying to figure out what the a good 308 scope is to buy, you need to look at your budget. You should definitely buy the best scope you can afford, but you need to also see the value in the types of features a scope has to offer, especially if it will benefit you.
Remember to keep this things in mind when looking at rifle scopes for your 308 : distance, clarity, solid construction. When you invest in a good 308 rifle scope, you want it to last.
Hopefully this has narrowed down your search in finding the best scope for 308.
Stay safe and happy shooting!