I am an avid fan of the novelist Wilbur Smith and I can still clearly recall all those fancy rifles he used in his prime days, especially his fondness for the .308. Today’s youth tend to dismiss this as a granddaddy’ retired hunting rifle. But you would be amazed to know that it’s praised by hunters from all corners of the world for its short-action yet heavy enough cartridge to bring down big game.
It bears the seal of Winchester which has been around since WWI. A battle-hardened weapon, suited for both medium-and long-range shooting. In less strife-ridden circumstances, it can lay the fare on your table, not to mention those wagers that you have bagged at the shooting range.
The market is flooded with all sorts and makes of rifle scopes. Choosing the best 308 scope for yourself can be a bit of a nightmare not to mention confusing. Our detailed guide and review will hopefully make it easier for you.
A Quick View of Our Favorites .308 Scope
|Pick Name||Thumbnail||Product Name||Price|
|Overall Best||Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes||$641 at Amazon|
|Best for Hunting||Trijicon TA11E-G ACOG 3.5×35 Riflescopes||$1149 at Amazon|
|3rd||Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm||$389 at Amazon|
|4th||SWFA SS 3-15×42 SS315X42MQ||$700 at Amazon|
|5th||Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescopes||$299 at Amazon|
|6th||ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20||$700 at Amazon|
|7th||UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope||$131 at Amazon|
|8th||Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescopes||$212 at Amazon|
|9th||Vortex Optics Crossfire II 30mm Tube Riflescopes||$299 at Amazon|
|10th||Leupold VX-3i 4.5x14x40mm Riflescope||$700 at Amazon|
|11th||Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm||$150 at Amazon|
|12th||Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope||$460 at Amazon|
Best 308 Scope for Hunting: Top 12 Reviews
1 Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes (Overall Best)
The name HST stands for hunting, shooting, tactical – which makes it a superb, versatile riflescope.
The Vortex Viper HS-T is a faultless riflescope of impeccable construction. The 30mm exterior tube is fabricated of a single piece consisting of aircraft-grade aluminum. Both the exterior and interior are shock-proof.
With an optical arrangement that is high in execution, the acquisition of targets is rapid and the action is smooth for every single shot you take. At 6x, liberal 4-inch eye relief and at 24x, 3-inch eye relief is provided.
We found that at 24x magnification, situating the eye at the ocular lens was awkward due to the smaller exit diameter. A clear image was presented without any visible edge distortion. The VMR-1 reticle serves its purpose admirably. The crosshairs give both MOA and MRAD and the turrets match the nature of the chosen reticle.
The optics are top of their class and the lenses are XR fully multi-coated. The glass construction sharpens the transmission of light rendering better visibility in most lighting conditions. An anti-reflective coating on the multiple layers voids the glare on the air-to-glass surfaces.
Focus adjustments on the side that empower you to sight a flawless image as well as negative parallax when shooting.
- Objective Lens: Diameter 50mm
- Magnification: 6-24x
- Eye Relief: 4 inch
- Weight: 22.6 oz.
- Material: Aircraft-grade Aluminum
- Adjustment Range: 65 MOA
- Focus Range: 50 yards to infinity
- Battery life: 150 hours
- Easy to read dials
- Solid construction
- Reticle is practical
- Generous eye relief
- Excellent glass clarity
- Stiff magnification adjustment
The Vortex Viper HS-T riflescope is faultless for hunting, shooting, and tactical use. The design is all-round and it is matchless for mid-to long-range targets when proper use of the settings are chosen. A VIP warranty comes with the product; the optic will be repaired or replaced free of charge.
Be you a green-horn or a professional, you will end up with a product that has a superlative optic and unmatchable eye relief. Once you get the hang of the second focal reticle, there is no holding you back.
2 Trijicon TA11E-G ACOG 3.5×35 Riflescopes (Best for Hunting)
There are a great many rifles that use the 308 cartridges and if short-range is your fancy, this scope is your dream come true. Being a close-quarter scope, it is a bit retarded on magnification but is amply compensated in other aspects.
It is constructed as solid as a Patton tank. The body is of forged 7075-T6, an alloy of aircraft aluminum. It is virtually indestructible.
To amplify on the magnification aspect, this is a 3.5 by 35 scope which translates as a meager magnification and the objective lens is modest. In its defense, a 3.5x is plenty of zoom for a 50-100 yard shot which most hunters prefer, especially the first-timers. A higher magnification, say 6-10x would only make you lose sight of the target.
The Trijicon ACOG has a field of vision of 29 feet at 100 yards which is pretty admirable. The eye relief is 2.4 inches which are definitely on the shorter side though AR-rifles have no problem with this arrangement.
We found that this is the best scope for 308 bolt action rifles. The scope is short in length and furthermore combining that with the eye relief distance, the shooter, in order to get a good view has to lean forward quite a bit.
There are many sorts of reticles compatible with the Trijicon. The particular model we reviewed, had an illuminated Chevron reticle. We absolutely loved it. By day, this is made possible via fiber optics; at night through tritium. Manual adjustments are thrown out of the window. The tritium illumination system is self-adjusting depending on the prevailing conditions.
The makers hold that the reticle allows for bullet drop up to 850 yards. We do think that is a tall claim considering anyone shooting that distance with this riflescope.
Comparing the Vortex Viper HS-T and the Trijicon ACOG, both of these top-rated scopes have a solid build. The former is suitable for hunting, shooting and tactical while the Trijicon is mostly a tactical weapon. The beauty is the illuminated reticle whereas the optics of the Viper are peerless.
- Objective Lens Diameter: 35mm
- Magnification: 3.5x
- Eye Relief: 2.4 inch
- Weight: 14 oz.
- Material: Forged Aluminum
- Caliber: .223 Remington
- Illumination type: Fiber optic, Tritium
- Battery life: Battery-free
- Illuminated reticle
- Excellent for 50-to 100-yard shots
- Construction extremely sturdy
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Great eye relief distance
- Diminished adjustability
This is one scope that is battle-tested and coveted enough by the veterans in the war zones. The key features include battery-free illumination capacity using tritium optic reticle, rugged 7075-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum construction and the bullet drop compensation. Nevertheless, the Trijicon 3.5x 35 riflescope has witnessed more combat and adverse conditions than any other scope out there. Any hunter can be assured of its reliability when trying it out. The scope comes expensive, but for such a premium product that is short-range and durable, look no further.
3 Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm
A dedicated scout scope has a lot to prove. A scope that is mounted on a scout rifle has big boots to fill. So much is expected of it. The clearance for recoil should be ample enough, the field of view should be good keeping both eyes open.
Not to forget the extra durability that it should possess to withstand the knocks and thumps of sustained use in combat or in the field. A scout scope has to be multi-faceted and at the same time adhere to providing strict requirements.
A Burris scope delivers. It is lightweight and on the shorter side. The profile it maintains is compact not overloading the rifle nor initiating a top-heavy effect.
This riflescope is designed to be mounted on the forward part of the barrel. The ejection port is clear in this position and an eye relief of 9-12 inches is a boon considering a high-recoil caliber rifle.
As a protection for internal glass and ancillary components, the lens assemblies have been fitted by hand to ensure resilient and consistent positioning with its dual internal spring-tension system. Its precision construction holds zero perfectly and the power range remains true despite the recoil, bumps, and beating you can dish out.
The Burris scope holds as a minimum 2x power and can zoom to 7x. The reticle is a Ballistic Plex that is easy to see and drags the eye bang to the center.
The Burris Scout rifle is ready and primed for action. We only wish it came with an illuminated reticle.
- Objective Lens Diameter: 32mm
- Magnification: 2-7x
- Eye Relief: 9.2-12 inch
- Weight: 13 oz.
- Adjustment Info: ¼ MOA
- Optics Coating: Multi-coated
- Parallax setting: Factory-set 100 yards
- Reticle: Ballistic Plus
- Variable/low power
- Eye relief extra long
- Fully weatherproof
- Ballistic reticle
- No lens cap provided
The Burris Scout is a good value for money product backed by a lifetime warranty. The scout rifle and the scope make an invisible team. They are a pair made in heaven, with the scope being of the utmost durability. There is little question if the market has a better scout scope but there isn’t. Coming under 500 USD, this is one of the best rifle scopes for 308. It has all the right specs backed by a warranty.
4 SWFA SS 3-15×42 SS315X42MQ
Depending on what you need, the SWFA SS is switchable from 3x to 15x. It is fitted out with an objective lens of 42mm. This lens is finely balanced between weight and it’s light garnering capability. It is well proportioned, not large enough to cause many rifles to be thrown out of balance.
The lenses are a terrific advancement. To boost light transmission and augment color contrast, the lenses are fully multi-coated. You can bet that these coatings will deliver the ultimate sight picture attainable even as the light conditions vary as the day goes by.
The reticle is a Mil Quad type and is positioned in the first focal plane. As you alternate between magnification levels, it switches sizes with the holdover points remaining static relative to your quarry the entire duration. In terms of accuracy, the reticule does fine. Sadly it is not illuminated and using it when the day is brightest is not such a good idea when you are exposed in the open
The SWFA SS contributes 4.2 inches of eye relief, which is more than enough for most users while the recoil is higher than anticipated. A parallax adjustment turret on the left side supplements the wind and elevation regulating turrets. Tactile clicks let you know that these settings are done.
We find that adjusting all variables without having to take your eye off the scope, a winning factor.
The scope is completely shock, water, and fog-free. The matte finish wipes out sun glare.
The SWFA SS and the Crossfire II are both long-range guns so we decided to see which has the edge. The eye relief is more or less the same and the reticle of the crossfire has a drop on the SWFA SS. They are pretty evenly matched.
- Objective Lens Diameter 42mm
- Magnification 3-15x
- Eye Relief 3.8-4.2 inch
- Weight 24 oz.
- Adjustment per revolution 15 MOA
- Optics Coating Fully Multi-coated
- Side Parallax adjustment 6 – infinity
- Reticle MOA Quad
- Good reticle design
- Great eye relief
- Matte finish
- Compact and light
- Narrow eye box
No doubt, the SWFA SS is the last word in versatility. All the components fit together in sync. Furthermore, the design is well executed and the construction other than being sturdy, much care has gone into the finer details. The lens arrangement is pretty advanced and overall. We rued that this scope does not have illumination that catapults any scope up, still it’s one of the best long range scopes out there.
5 Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescopes
The reticle is seated on the second focal plane in the riflescope. This means that when you switch between 6x and 24x magnification levels, the reticle will not change size. The reticle is of the BDC variety (Bullet Drop Compensator). This makes it unbeatable as a solution for long-range shooting. Vertical estimation hash marks on the BDC reticle give you the advantage to factor in changes in elevation at ranges that differ from the zeroed range.
Parallax can be completely nullified by the use of the knob on the left side of the scope. The image focus jumps out especially at long ranges. The fully multi-coated lens provides superlative scratch protection and the light transmission is amazing. The views that the eyepiece of the scope renders is crystal clear, bright with color contrast.
For eye-relief, this scope gives you an ample 4 inches. Long-range rifles with some recoil will hardly pose a problem. The design of the eye box goes hand in hand with a fast-focus eyepiece. The eyepiece aids you in tailing your target rapidly and focuses your reticle in a snap.
Being fashioned from aircraft-grade aluminum, it is pretty durable. Not only that, but it boasts shock-proof, fog-proof and waterproof. To eradicate the chances of water or fog gaining entry into the interior of the scope, it has O-ring seals and is nitrogen purged.
This scope’s measurements use MOA which in America is the more common of the two.
A major drawback is at the center of the crosshairs, the reticle imposes a faint red dot. During the brightness of day, it is virtually too dim but in more subdued ambient light conditions, there is no problem whatever.
- Objective Lens Diameter 50mm
- Magnification 6-24x
- Eye Relief 4 inches
- Weight 23.6 oz
- Adjustment Range 40 MOA
- Optics Coating Fully Multi-coated
- Side Parallax adjustment 10 yards to infinity
- Reticle Dead-Hold BDC
- Battery Life 150 hours
- Material Material Aircraft-grade Aluminum
- Superb BDC reticle
- Efficient eye relief
- Durable and bright optics
- Great for long-range shooting
- Dim center dot
Priced under 200 USD, the Vortex Crossfire II is an all-rounder. It is equipped with a fast focus eyepiece with which you can bear on your target rapidly. This is a budget friendly scope which does not mean it is inferior in any way. In fact we were pretty taken up by the nifty coated lens, the parallax compensation and the BDC reticle which are the building blocks of a high performance scope. The Crossfire II is an excellent balanced choice for the money.
6 ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20
The ATN X-Sight II riflescope is a leading contender for the best night vision scope. This is a smart project that sets it apart from other basic digital scopes. The HD quality sensors, display, and lens are quite uncommon. This scope works like a charm in total darkness, by day or by night, for target shooting as also for tactical use.
Ranging capacity and ballistic calculations apart, this day-night scope being intelligent, its IR Illuminator will pinpoint the target for you. This is the sole scope that demolishes the HD barrier.
For night vision, a Green night view and a B & W night view are the two modes provided. These two modes ensure that your quarry has little chance in any lighting condition.
This riflescope has an HD lens. The X-Sight II can zoom the target from 5x to 20x. The option of both manual and digital zooming.
The ATN X-Sight is a behemoth among rifle scopes. Measuring 9 ½ inches in length and weighs 2.5 lbs. It has a 9-reticle option so you get the scope of the type of reticle choice. This makes it a lot simpler and bestows a wide option of choice depending on the environment brightness and target focus. Wonders, the reticle has an 850 mW IR Illuminated provision. This is useful in that the user can in a jiffy set up the target by night also.
A whopping 85mm objective lens is used in this riflescope which will give you a long-distance clear view. A 1000 yards is the field of view of this scope with an angle of a clear view of 5°.
An in-built rangefinder is part of the ensemble so you need not carry any auxiliary equipment to range your target.
Included with the X-Sight II is armed with the ATM Ballistic Calculator. Just enter the environmental data in the Ballistic Calculator, it intuitively calculates and performs. So, a single round is all you need to expend.
Bluetooth and WiFi connections are available so you can review them.
- Objective Lens Diameter: 85mm
- Magnification: 5-20x
- Eye Relief: 65 mm
- Weight: 2.55 lbs
- Focus Range: 15m to infinity
- Caliber: .308 Winchester
- Finish: Matte
- Reticle: Multiple
- Battery Life: 6 hours
- Material: Aluminum
- Night vision
- Incredible price range
- Multiple zeroes for different distances or guns
- Pre-programmed with 7 reticle styles
- HD photos and videos possible
- No traditional elevation and windage knobs; auto adjustment
- Short battery life
A digital rifle is what the X-Sight is. Traditional glass is not something you will be viewing through. Instead, the ATN uses digital imaging where the scope’s field of view is captured and a high-quality LCD positioned inside the scope receives the projection.
ATN has been a flag-bearer in night vision and low light optics and a steady supplier to the military and law enforcement agencies for years.
It comes for an agreeable expense and what you are getting in return is no mean exchange.
7 UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope
A great hunting experience calls for a great scope. The UTG 3 is a tearaway popular scope amongst hunters as with it, game hunting is as easy as pie. This scope embraces the latest technology and is packed with innovative features bound to make your deer hunting experience one of a kind.
This UTG scope has some very distinguished features that lean towards ease and favorable enterprise in taking a shot.
Zero resetting and turrets that have zero locking targets is one such feature that makes the UTG stand tall before its competitors. Moreover, it has the SWAT or Side Wheel Adjustable Turret that bestows a parallax range between 10 yards and infinity.
Another notable attribute is the innovative IE reticle which upholds your personalized illumination and multi-color modes. With a 36-color spectrum, it should suit all your environmental and other penchants.
As far as the optics go, we are talking high-tech- emerald coated. These superlative optics come with multi-colored lenses fitted with angled sunshades that makes them glare-free.
- Objective Lens Diameter: 44 mm
- Magnification: 3-12x
- Eye Relief: 84mm – 72 mm
- Weight: 23.2 oz.
- Parallax setting: 10 yards to infinity
- Field of view at 100 yards: 34’ to 8.4’
- Length: 356 mm
- Battery not required for the functioning of the crosshairs
- Cheap yet packed with features
- The scope offers precise targeting
- Clear scope
- Scope holds zero reliable
- Illuminator works only on battery
The UTG 3-12 x 44 30mm is undoubtedly one of the best .308 scopes today’s market has to offer. It has traits and attitudes. Notwithstanding the superior technology and comfort, it is still incredibly budget-friendly and is widely accepted. A large number of reviews we went through were literally crowing about this riflescope and its ratings have skyrocketed. So, no real need for confusion, the right choice is staring you in the face.
8 Vortex Optics Diamondback Riflescopes
Crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum, the Vortex Diamondback riflescope is a spiffy number.
Made of a single body tube, strength, durability and weatherproofing are rolled into this scope.
It is charged with argon gas, which makes it impervious to foggy conditions, protecting the internals and presenting you with a picture-perfect image of your target.
This riflescope is a featherweight weighing in at under 15 ounces. The scope setting is 4-12×40 which theoretically should yield a decently long range for going after deer and game.
The Vortex is a whistle to be assembled and mounted on your scope, the lightweight making a huge difference.
A BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) reticule, a practical attribute to recoup for holdover.
We would like to get our two-bit in here. At its incredibly decent tag, the Vortex has class and quality. The turret clicks have a lovely clear no-nonsense sound. The range is good. The damper is that the glass quality is suspect which is obvious when the Vortex is used in low sunlight. However, there is a workaround; by lowering the magnification setting, you can pretty well dispel this and revert to a pristine image again.
We also did take a shine to the finish. It’s anodized with a low glare satin finish. So you, in the field will be as incognito as a mud eel.
Another thing that we need to crow from the rooftops is the amount of lighting the optic captures. The optics are fully multi-coated.
The eye-piece is a fast focus and a precision glider erection system, even under the harshest condition, a flawless visionary experience is guaranteed.
- Objective Lens Diameter: 40mm
- Magnification: 4-12x
- Eye Relief: 3.1 inch
- Weight: 14.6 oz
- Parallax setting: Factory-set 100 yards
- Field of view at 100 yards: 32.4 – 11.3 feet
- Length: 12 inches
- Reticle: BDC
- Adjustment Info: ¼ inch MOA
- Fully multi-coated optics
- Fully weatherproof
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Unilluminated reticle
The Oracle has decreed that the Vortex Diamondback is the preferred one which is that it is a high-performing optic nothing short of perfection. If you are fishing for a superb rifle scope that will not break the bank and comes with an unbeatable warranty, it’s gotta be the Diamondback from Vortex.
9 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 30mm Tube Riflescopes
The eyepiece on this riflescope is of the fast focus type. This is a feature of all their models and what it does is to allow the user to rapidly and easily orient the focus of the reticle come the time to pull the trigger. The method is absurdly simple; all it takes is a twist on the focus knob zeroes on for the sharpest setting for your eyesight. This arrangement ensures you always have a crisp reticle.
Light transmission to the scope is via the fully multi-coated lens which subsequently also does away with the glare on all of the glass surfaces. Haze is diminished, colors appear brighter, and the unblemished sight picture will make you shoot like William Tell.
The aluminum construction is waterproof and so you don’t need to run for cover when it starts raining. Internal fogging is an issue that need not bother you because the interior has been nitrogen purged.
The reticle options are aplenty and you have the freedom to select what suits your eye most.
An all-purpose crosshair, the V-Plex can be put to a wide range of applications. The Dead-Hold BDC bears hash marks that pitch in to aid in bullet drop and corrections for the wind so you don’t need an on-board ballistics calculator separately. When the wind direction is turbulent and the distance large enough, this riflescope still can hit the nail on its head.
The V-Plex has an illuminated version in the V-Brite. The center dot is lit up by battery power so that in poor light conditions, your performance doesn’t.
- Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
- Magnification: 6-24x
- Eye Relief: 4 inches
- Weight: 23.6 oz
- Parallax setting: 10 yards to infinity
- Field of view at 100 yards: 17.3 to 4.4 feet
- Length: 14.5 inches
- Reticle: 3 available; BDC, Illuminated, Crosshair
- Adjustment Info: ¼ MOA
- BDC and illuminated reticle option
- Turrets zero adjustable
- Lifetime transferable warranty
- Glass poor on high magnification
- Turrets do not track well.
The Vortex Crossfire II is best suited for entry-level. It certainly failed to impress us save for the nifty reticle. WE would suggest for a few bucks more, the Vortex Diamondback can be yours which is a better deal. Turret dials on the Crossfire II are kind of squishy and there are no audible clicks either. We also find Crossfire II on the heavier side.
10 Leupold VX-3i 4.5x14x40mm Riflescope
The Leupold VX-3i is a riflescope that holds a legendary status among hunters of all skill levels. Leupold’s patented Twilight Max Light Management System and Diamondcoat 2 are in the game to gift you the highest brightness, color contrast, and ultimate light transmission.
Their optics are mostly for the pro circuit, competitions and the like. The VX line is expensive, but the Leupold VX-3i is a welcome departure not only is it a budget-friendly release, but it keeps those incredible optics that are its hallmark.
The VX-3i has a range of reticle patterns. The range also encompasses illuminated versions. All fall in the magnification range of 8.5-25x.
We personally favor the T-MOA purely for its ease of use but it was a bit of a toss-up as some preferred the MILs, the TMR being an exceptional reticle. These are all etched in glass on top-class lenses made in the US.
The Leupold VX-3i riflescope has a fast-focus eyepiece that gets your reticle speedily into focus with your eyes and takes on a “locked” on target acquisition.
The Leupold vs the ATN X-Sight II should make a fine battle. Both have some serious innovations. The Leupold has up its sleeve a choice of reticles including an illuminated version. The X-Sight is armed with an ATM Ballistic Calculator which simplifies things a lot. Its 85mm objective gives a clear view at greater distances.
- Objective Lens Diameter: 40mm
- Magnification: 4.5-14x
- Weight: 12.6 oz
- Eye Relief: 4.4-3.6 inch
- Parallax setting: 150 yards
- Field of view at 100 yards: 29.8 – 11.0 feet
- Length: 12.6 inches
- Reticle: Duplex, Boone & Crockett
- Adjustment Info: ¼ inch MOA
- Material: 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum
- Very good in low light
- Lightweight and compact
- High-quality glass
- Reliable warranty
- Turrets have no zero stop
- Tacking of turrets revolution difficult
What distinguishes the Leupold VX-3i is its heirloom quality. Care for it and it goes on forever. Your children, grandkids, all. It is truly a rock-solid product. Since you are going to fork out serious bucks for a premium product, you must want to get the best bang for your buck. We doubt if this is going to be a problem.
11 Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm
Nikon is the most expensive optics company in the world. Of course, this implies a vast range of products, not riflescopes alone. The gamut of their riflescopes is vast covering the high-enders with the budget-friendly ones. The Buckmasters II is in the second tier.
The Buckmaster II has a varied magnification level, so, here we will stick to the 4-12x magnification on a 40mm objective.
The Buckmaster II is a plain Jane. It is bereft of any tactical features. That is because it is a hunting scope, not a sniper’s scope. The lenses are fully multi-coated. This boosts the light transmission and clarity of the optics. The coating on the topic, ups the normal light up to 98%. When we tried ranging the light transmission, it was pretty apparent.
We also found that the addition of the resettable turret was simple, easy to use and tool-free. The turrets are spring-loaded. Operation is as simple as pulling the turret, rotating it back to zero and releasing it. Fingertip usage is sufficient to manipulate the turrets.
Another innovation is the little nub on the magnification rim. This nub serves to alter the scope’s power and a non-slip grip.
The BuckMaster II has a BDC reticle and a crosshair.
It is also shock-proof, fog-proof and waterproof
- Objective Lens Diameter: 40mm
- Magnification: 4-12x
- Eye Relief: 3.7 inch
- Weight: 13.6 oz.
- Field of view at 100 yards: 23.6 – 7.9 feet
- Length: 12 inch
- Reticle: BDC
- BDC Adjustment Internal max: 60 MOA
- Open circle range markers
- BDC reticle
- Nitrogen purged
- O-ring sealed chambers
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Non-illuminated reticle
- Eye relief is short
Coming from Nikon, the Buckmaster II is one of the best scopes for 308 hunting rifle for sale. It is of high quality and affordable. It may not stand toe to toe with other scopes but as an entry-level optic, it is befitting. It has some interesting features such as the resettable turret and the magnification nub. Get this or the Nikon M-308 4-16×42 SF Nikoplex and stay on top of your competition if you practice competitive shooting.
12 Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope
Athlon was a new brand for us until a colleague suggested we try it out.
We got the shock of our lives; the Athlon Argos BTR has features that are three times more expensive on high-end models.
The lens of the Argos BTR has two coatings; a multicoat to enhance image clarity and brightness during those hours of diffused lighting such as dawn and dusk. This coating is followed by an XPL coating that dispels dirt, grime, and other gunk This multi-coating is meant to dispel reflected light and intensify light transmission yielding a much brighter image than a normal single-coated lens.
The Argos BTR has a massive magnification range from 8-34x. We were naturally skeptical as to how it would perform at 36x. We found that the colors and edges did degrade somewhat but at 24x, it was plain superb. The BTR also has a side parallax adjustment, a must for any scope worth it’s salt.
The reticle is more than a mouthful and is an APMR FFP IR MIL. Operationally, the MIL reticle is child’s play to use. The IR stands for illuminated reticle which has become the norm in most scopes. Another small hitch we found was that the IR turret was stiff but gets smoother with use. We appreciate these tight tolerances as this is a likely point of moisture entry.
The reticle is etched on the glass which is normal practice and allows for a complex reticle design and also buffering recoil shock. Being a first focal plane scope, as you zoom, the reticle gets larger.
The Argos BTR is fabricated of 6061T6 aircraft-grade aluminum in one piece. The body has been heat treated for extra strength. The scopes are purged with Athlon argon that dispels moisture out of the tube during the manufacturing process. The turrets have detents and you can follow the click of each turn.
- Objective Lens Diameter: 56mm
- Magnification: 8-34x
- Eye Relief: 3.3 inch
- Weight: 32.2 oz.
- Field of view at 100 yards: 12.5 – 3 feet
- Length: 15.5 inches
- Reticle: APMR FFP IR MIL, Glass etched
- Adjustment Range per Rotation: 5 MIL
- Side Focus Parallax adjustment: 15 yards to infinity
- Material: 6061 Aluminum Tube, Heat treated
- Warranty: AthlonGold Medal Lifetime
- Decent glass with the etched reticle
- Illuminated reticle
- Adjustable turrets that hold zero
- Lifetime warranty
- Low cost
- Image fuzzy past 24x
The target audience is precision, long-range shooters. If you think you belong to this category, this model will never disappoint you.
Best 308 Scope – A Comprehensive Buying Guide
1. Magnification and Optical Power
- Long Range (350 yards and above) – To put this range to the test, it will be where the full power of your rifle will be utilized. .308 optics are a must when you are pushing that much ahead of 350 yards. Ready to step on the gas, you will need 10x magnification. Remember, the more magnification would be required for smaller targets.
- Medium Range (150 – 350 yards) – This distance is classic for the .308 rifle to tackle a game that is medium to large size. The reason is elementary. A far shot carries with it the risk of injury to the animal instead of a fair kill. This is not being sportive and as know death in stress and pain taints the meat. You lose out. Ethical hunting binds you to a 6-9 magnification.
- Close Range (Up to 150 yards) – Your vision will be blurred if you use high magnification at close ranges. For an accurate shot at under 150 yards, use a magnification of 1-6x power.
2. Type of .308 scope
- Hunting- These scopes, in general, have moderate magnification between 8-14x. This contributes to added range and accuracy but not being so powerful, locating a target becomes difficult.
- Tactical- Tactical scopes have the least magnification to be usable for CQB (close quarter battle). In extreme cases, the range can be up to 300 yards. This is the domain of red dots, holo sights and scout scopes that are compact. Magnification can be from 0 – 8x but 6x is common.
- Long Range- These are competition models and magnification is in the range 10-20x. Since we are looking at anything from 600 to 1000 yards, high magnification can be helpful.
3. Specialized Coatings
A lens of a rifle scope utilizes a special coating which permits the lens to absorb as much of the ambient light from gloomy environs whilst also cutting off a glare that makes aiming difficult. This is not the only reason; the reflection of the lens may make your prey aware of your location. These coatings come in myriad combinations of coatings.
The cross-hairs in your scope or the reticle as it is also called plays a part in how you like to shoot. If your preference is shooting long distances, what is good for you is a BDC reticle. Millings are amalgamated into the reticles. With ever shot, bullet drop, elevation, and windage factors are adjustable.
Reticles come in various kinds and you will be spoiled for choice. Your pick of the reticle is totally dependent on your shooting style and comfort. We personally prefer the Advanced Combined Sighting System (ACSS) reticle though.
Present-day optics are a heap lighter than they were with the results of optics getting larger without the added burden of weight. The heavier the scope, the more of a setback it proves in the field.
Determine the relative size of what kind of objective lens is good for you before you set off on your shopping splurge. This can be a bit tiring if this is the first time you’re setting out to purchase a scope.
Two profound pointers here; a larger objective lens harnesses more light than a smaller one and two, more than the overall length, it is the quality of the glass that makes up the objective lens that is dominant.
Subpar coating of the lenses will setback the performance of 40mm to 56mm objectives to practically negligible. The point here is that rarely is a rise in weight and size beneficial to the average shooter.
A .308 rifle weighing more than 8 pounds is not needed for most applications because you won’t enjoy carrying that weight around. It is okay if the rifle is resting on a bench for a supine shot. A lightweight rifle is easier to travel with, clean and a delightful experience to shoot with.
6. Target Turrets
Turret systems for rifle scopes are the precondition for a thriving hunt. They zero in on distance and accuracy. You can actually put accurately on the dot shots even past 1000 yards with ballistic and target turrets.
The external knobs you see raised at the eyeball on the top and to the right of scope are the target turrets. These are used for windage and elevation. Their purpose is to change the bullet impact by raising, moving sideways or lowering the reticle crosshairs for devastating true aim.
7. Focal Plane
There are two focal planes in scopes; the first focal plane (FFP) or the second focal plane (SFP)
The exact difference between both is that an SFP reticle will retain the exact same size. In an FFP reticle, as the scope’s modification is altered, so does the size of the reticle.
For long-range shooting, SFP is just fine although the preferred choice of pro hunters is the FFP.
8. MOA or MRAD
Both being measures of angular units, MOA is an acronym for Minutes of Angle and MRAD, Milliradians. This falls totally in the realm of long-range rifle scopes. These are designed for tactical scopes as the ranges are mighty extended.
A common feature is turrets that are quick adjusting and long-range reticles. These riflescopes are specifically aimed at long-range moving targets where the shooter has to make adjustments rapidly and therefore the choice of tactical rifle scopes for 308.
9. Fast Focus Eyepiece
This sort of eyepiece enables fast diopter settings. With a fast-focus eyepiece, the rotation of the diopter setting so that it suits your eyes, reticle as also the target (image) at the same time. Fast focus eyepieces are a feature of all the newer scopes.
10. Parallax Adjustment
Parallax poses little issues among short to mid-range scopes as the scopes in this range are already adjusted for parallax. However, on a long-range scope, parallax constantly has to be paid attention to.
When the target and the reticle are not in the same focal length, parallax results. What happens is that the eyes are in motion relative to the scope whereas the reticle will sight over your target.
If a long-range scope is what you are on the lookout for, get one with parallax adjustment. These are the ones that at the top of the tube, have a turret.
11. Objective Lens
Every scope has two lenses. The one at the rear is the eyepiece to which your eye is placed and the one at the rear is the objective which allows the light to come in. The larger the objective, the more is the light that enters giving a clearer sight picture. This is excellent in poor light where you need a clear shot.
The downside is that the larger the objective, additional weight is added by the lens system so there has to be a tradeoff between the best image quality whilst keeping the weight reasonable.
For hunting, a 42mm lens will do splendidly.
12. Generous Eye Relief
Eye relief does not command high priority with the .308 Winchester because of its subtle recoil unlike other ammo with the same range. That in no way suggests that eye protection should be neglected. Eye relief buffers the shock of the recoil.
13. Accuracy, Clarity, and Brightness
Any shooter will vouch that a scope without clarity is a goner. More so during hours of dawn and dusk. This goes hand in hand with the brightness which is equally principal.
Accuracy is the focal point of every gunsight and rifle scope in the world. Especially when you are after the big game at close quarters. You may get just that one shot and it better count.
If you are mainly looking for the best 308 scope for hunting, weatherproofing is something you’ll have to give priority to. Hunting is a passion and the hunter is not looking for the perfect weather to go into the woods. Hunting is not confined to wet weather, fog or adverse elements.
Your scope should be sufficient to take what Mother Nature can dish out. Preferably, your scope should be dust-proof, water-proof, fog-proof and also shock-proof to take those inadvertent knocks on trees and rocks while you are focused on hunting.
15. Warranty and Budget
The budget that you have set aside for your scope should be in tandem with the rifle you shoot with. The rule-of-thumb is to settle for the best magnified optic possible to squeeze the topmost performance out of your rifle.
Considerations being your rifle and the job you require it, you are looking at $300-$1300. A pretty decent scope will come for under 500 USD. Some persons hold the view that the cost of the scope should match that of your rifle.
Your budget is of utmost importance. Go in for well-reputed manufacturers rather than boutique makers.
What’s So Special About .308 Win Rifle Scopes?
In the United States, the 308 Winchester holds pride of place as a hunting rifle of choice in the popularity stakes. Even worldwide actually.
It brags an enormous range, 1000 yards according to the USMC (United States Marine Corps). To reap the full benefit of its long effective range, the need is for a scope that will deliver a good sight picture up to 800 yards. You would need to be an army sniper to get beyond that.
The recoil is pretty insignificant in the .308 Winchester, so eye relief is not a top consideration. That, however, does not give the license to place your eye too close as your bracing position might not be right to prevent a kick-back from the rifle.
The magnification power and other parameters are dependent on where you plan to deploy your rifle regularly. When used for deer or a similar game, the scope should be as lightweight as possible. In hunting game, you want to be as close to your quarry as possible. Taking a shot at 800 yards will in all probability be a dud. 150 yards is more likely, even using a .308 Winchester and so a 9x or 12x magnification is ample.
.308 Scope – Cleaning & Maintenance Tips
For accurate shooting, keeping your rifle scope clean is obligatory. A grimy lens will in all probability make your shot go awry not to mention the wasted ammo.
Here are some tips that will keep your scope ship-shape.
- Lens Dusting
You’ve invested a fair bit on your scope. Before you take a cloth to clean the lens, don’t. Every speck of dirt and dust will leave fine scratches on your lens losing clarity over time. Just dust off the lens, that will do.
- Use a microfiber cloth
When in a rush, we tend to use our shirt to clean the lens. But don’t do that. Kleenex, paper towels, wipes and so on won’t cut it either. They will scratch the lens and also leave microscopic fibers.
Use a microfiber cloth that is specially designed and cleans smudges and oils off of the lens without leaving any residual scratches or fibers.
- Refrain from spraying a cleaner directly on the lens
A microfiber cloth and water do a pretty good job of lens cleaning. But sometimes the grime can be stubborn. Windex is too strong and will damage the coating. Eyeglasses or lens cleaner is a safe bet. The lens cleaner should be sprayed on the microfiber cloth and never directly on the lens. The scopes seals can be damaged by excess moisture, so use it sparingly.
- Keep The cap on
Keep the cap on the scope whenever you are cleaning your rifle. The solvents and powders that are used to clean guns can damage both the waterproof seals as well as the lens. In passing, it is always a good idea to keep the cap on at all times even in the field to avoid dust, pollen, and dirt.
- Use a Q-tip
A scope has many difficulties to discover nooks and crannies. Use a q-tip to clean ridges and tight spots. Better still, wrap the q-tip in microfiber cloth so that you can clean your lens without wisps of cotton adhering to the lens.
- Use a LensPen
A LensPen is specifically designed to clean rifle scopes. It is a dual-ended tool that cleans without the use of any liquids. Bristles are provided at one end for dusting the lens. Just make sure that it is clean of any oil or other contaminants that can scratch the lens. The other end has a carbon cleaning compound pad to rub off smudges.
- Turrets should be unscrewed
The lens is not the only part of your scope that needs attention. If you were on an outing during rainy or wet conditions, the turrets should be removed and cleaned thoroughly to ward off rust. A Q-tip works well as does a microfiber cloth. If you decide on the cloth, first clean the lens before the turrets. If you like the LensPen, you can use it for the turrets.
It would be a good idea to have two LensPens; one for the lens specifically and the other for the turrets.
- When you hunt, bring a Cleaning kit
The elements can be unpredictable. Be prepared for the worst. If you keep a LensPen or microfiber cloth in your hunting pack, you can clean your lens anytime. It would be a crying shame if you miss your shot all because of mud splatter or water drops on the lens.
- Clean Your Battery Compartment
If your scope runs on batteries, you need to periodically take out the batteries and clean the compartment. Batteries can get wet and old and that is when the corrosion process takes root. Batteries exude acid so it has to be cleaned or replaced. If you leave it too long, you may have to kiss your scope goodbye.
- Don’t Overdo It
When the lens is dirty, you sure need to clean it. Dust it gently. There is no need to clean it every time you go out hunting if the picture is blemishless.
1. To what distance can a .308 shoot?
Ans. If you do your job in the exact placement of your shot, the .308 will do its job in incapacitating the target. The US Army pegs the maximum effective range at 800 yards while the USMC preaches a 1000 yards. For reliability, 800 yards is more realistic because, after that range, the bullet starts dropping and is inconsistent.
2. What are the recommended scope magnifications for a .308?
Ans. Most purists agree that 10x is good enough. The essential part is the purpose you are going to use your rifle for; hunting, long-distant or tactical. Some agree that the more the magnification the better which is strictly not true. A max of 24x fits all requirements ideally.
3. What should be the size of the scope for AR .308?
Ans. For an AR10 with a 21-inch barrel, the long range is 400 yards and above, while for medium-and close-range that’s up to 200 yards. The longer your barrel length is, the further the range will be. Check out our reviewed AR 15 scopes to find your perfect match.
4. How to zero in a scope for 308?
- Head out to the range before using it. It is imperative that you zero your .308 so that you can consistently hit your target at your desired distance.
- Check that your scope is correctly attached. You should use paper targets for zeroing. They have grid lines so you can gauge how far off you are. Accordingly, you can adjust for windage, elevation, and parallax.
- Start at 25 yards range. Fire 3-5 bullets in a row at the bullseye. Now closely examine the target and make any adjustments if needed.
- Continue this to 50, 100 and 200. Now inspect and it will become apparent if your shots are too high or off to one side. Make adjustments carefully.
- Remember a small error at 100 yards becomes pretty massive at 1000.
5. How to sight in a rifle with a .308 scope?
- Your scope should be installed properly
- Adjust your eye distance
- Get level
- Align the reticle
- Set your MOA (minute of angle)
- Fire 3-shot groups
Keep tweaking till the grouping is close to the bullseye.
6. Why use a 308?
Ans. You can easily take down deer, bear, moose, elk, antelope, wild hogs, coyotes, and pronghorn with the 308 winchester caliber. It’s also good for target shooting and sniping at 700 years and even more.
In this 308 scope review we tried all the aspects of getting the best scope for 308 tactical and hunting rifles to make the process a bit easier for you.
No matter however perfectly a riflescope is designed and built. There is no single scope that will cater to the needs and demands of every customer.
Before you make up your mind and pick up a particular scope, make sure that the model that has caught your fancy has the desired and particular specifications that you need. And it goes without saying, always keep in mind your budget. Do not get carried away by the more higher-end scopes and put a hole in your savings.
I hope you enjoyed our guide today and good luck in finding that best 308 scope.
Till next time!
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