A Step-By-Step Guide to Buying the Best Scope for 308

The 308 is a classic all-around cartridge for hunting. You can fire 308 from a lot of different guns, rifles, from military tactical rifles to ARs or your old wood-barreled weapon.

The advantages of using 308 are low recoil, extended barrel life, and low power consumption. To be honest, I really love it because it is very easy to reload.

Also, it doesn’t produce much recoil and in general, it’s accurate within about 275 yards. And because 308 caliber rifles are varied, it may be a little bit difficult for you to choose the best scope for 308.

Actually, there are thousands of scopes you can find on the market but not many scopes are designed for the 308. They are quite hard to find and between comparing and shopping, you may waste a lot of time searching on the Internet.

But don’t worry because I’ve already got you covered. In this article, you can read full and in-depth reviews of the 5 best scopes for 308.

How to choose the scope for 308

1. Construction

Any rifle optic you intend to use for tactical or hunting purposes needs to have great durability. It has to be able to withstand the normal bruises as well as bumps coming with the territory.

Construction

Image source: Major Pandemic

In fact, aircraft grade aluminum is a good choice for a high-quality rifle scope and in my experience, you should not go for anything else.

Also, elevation turrets and low-profile windage are 2 important features you have to care about. In detail, low-profile turrets are not likely to be knocked off easily or snagged in the brush.

It is still very necessary for you to manipulate these turrets quickly.

As for tactical, a high profile can be more effective since it is much easier for you to reach out or adjust when you’re moving.

If you are going to bring a scope out in the hunting area, it has to be fog and water resistant. There are some situations as annoying as seeing fog only while raising your weapon.

2. Holding the Zero

The 308 doesn’t feature the most devastating recoil. However, there is still a nice kick, particularly if you’re using a heavy grain, high powder load.

Therefore, you’d better buy a scope which is able to withstand the shock of recoil while it maintains the zero of it.

3. Fixed or Variable Power

Overall, I will break down scopes into 2 broad categories: variable and fixed powered scopes. Specifically, fixed scopes feature one magnification setting while you can adjust variable models across more than one setting.

Therefore, your choice between these 2 options will probably depend on the shot you are going to take. As mentioned above, the 308 caliber is versatile so it can be used in different scenarios of shooting.

Fixed or Variable Power

Image source: Scouting Outdoors

A fixed unit may be one of the best choices if you intend to use your weapon to hunt in dense vegetation.

This is because dense vegetation is where you take your shots at 150 yards or less. A 5X fixed or 2.5X scope can do be a good choice.

To be honest, a fixed scope is high-quality, more durable and affordable. It is a reason why you should go for a fixed one in that scenario instead of a variable version which has lower magnification options.

The 308 can totally reach out a few hundred yards while still maintaining the knockdown power. In fact, a good variable model is 3-9X.

However, regarding sniping or long-range scenarios, there are also variable scopes with high magnification on the market for you to choose from.

When buying a variable unit, it is very important to pay attention to the lowest magnification setting. Of course, it is amazing to have a scope which can tap a target at more than 500 yards is a good thing.

But what will happen when it reaches 90 yards more?

Or can your scope feature a low enough magnification and a view field which is wide enough for picking it up fast? Actually, it is an essential component but it is usually overlooked when hunters choose a variable unit.

3. Generous Eye Relief

All of us are fascinated by the recoil that is produced from a 308 caliber.

Additionally, you will buy a scope which gives you at least 3 inches of eye relief. Actually, 3 inches is more than enough speaking of the distance between the rim of the lens and your eye.

4. Magnification

This is the measure of how much larger objects appear through the scope compared to what you see with your naked eyes. If the magnification of your scope is 10X, it will probably be 10 times closer than what you may see in reality.

Also, you need to find a scope which has either variable or fixed magnification. If you have variable one, you can begin with a lower magnification and then work the way up.

Remember that starting with a very high magnification while your target is very close may narrow the field of your view. And therefore, this can lessen the amount of light entering your scope.

Honestly, this will make it much more difficult for you to get the shot.

Magnification

Image source: SWGGUN

5. Durability

Just like other scopes, the best scope for 308 has to be one which can stand up to a reasonable use.

A scope for 308 is not a brush gun, thus, it is less prone to being subjected to use in tight quarters where limbs and branches are usually a problem.

Nonetheless, the lenses should be treated well if you want to make them resistant to scratch.

The tube has to have solid construction and be a sealed unit.

Generally, it should be filled with argon or nitrogen to make the scope resistant to fog. In detail, being filled with gas and sealed can make your scope much more durable as the interior parts of it are protected carefully.

Besides, the material of the scope is also important because you need something that is can’t be damaged easily. Also, as mentioned above, a scope which is shock resistant is what you may want to look for as a 308 has a hard recoil.

Furthermore, a lot of 308 rifles are bolt action, thus, the best 308 scope for bolt action need to have the ability to withstand the bolt joint locked into place.

Best Scope for 308 Reviews

Tactical

1. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ BDC 800 Reticle,Black


This scope is undoubtedly one of the high-quality tactical scopes for 308. It features a 4-16X variable magnification so it is very suitable for hunters who usually shoot mid-to-long range.

It is also made of aircraft grade aluminum. And as mentioned above, this is the only material you should go for.

The scope has a fully coated and bright optical lens system producing clear images throughout the range of the magnification.

Therefore, you won’t have any problem with water or fog impeding the quality of the image because it is treated for scenarios like that. Even in low light setting, these lenses will still shine and they also feature high light transmission.

Regardless of the lighting, the reticle is very visible and it remains clear throughout the range of the magnification. Hence, you will never have any problem lining up an animal in the crosshairs.

This scope stands up to higher calibers than just 308, thus, you are fine when the zero gets knocked off from just firing the gun. After the zero is set, just try to knock it off. Also, it is very accurate so you won’t have any issue while getting tight grouping up to more than 300 yards.

The eyepiece which is quick focus can bring the reticle and image into clear focus if you go between low magnification and high magnification.

When the eye relief is fine at lower settings, you may have some problems when you switch to higher setting since the eye relief may diminish greatly.

This product has high profile turrets which are very useful if used in the field where you need to adjust the scope fast. They feature an audible and solid click, thus, you can know when to make adjustments.

Pros

  • Very rugged
  • Holds zero well
  • Easy to handle the turrets
  • Quick focus eyepiece

Cons

  • Not suitable for close range shooting

Best for: most hunters, mid to long range shooting.

2. UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings


This UTG Compact rifle scope is a great choice for you which works well with a 308.

It features a lot of top-quality features such as an illuminated bullet drop reticle, sealed nitrogen purged tube, and fully coated lenses. It also has target turrets and integrated sunshade, a lifetime warranty.

Furthermore, it is built to be fog, water and shockproof so you don’t have to worry about the durability of this product. Also, it is a durable scope which is very affordable and it can work very well with both modern tactical and classic bolt action rifle.

Some hunters have complained that this product can’t hold zero very well. Another downside of is that the reticle moves once you center so it may require you to recenter often.

Or else, if you’re on a budget, this is a good option for you because it is not only affordable but also full of good enough features.

Best for tactical, hunters on a bbmoney

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Illuminated bullet drop reticle

Cons

  • Can’t hold zero well
  • Reticle moves once centered

3. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Adjustable Objective Riflescope


This Elite 6500 is also a good option for 308. It is solidly made and can put a lot of other scopes to shame. Once you sight it in, it can handle the recoil of a 308 easily.

Besides, it is also suitable when used with bolt action 308 rifles.

It has clear optics which are coated multiple times, therefore, the lenses are very durable in the field. The scope is filled with nitrogen and is waterproof, fog proof and shockproof. Moisture can bead up into little drops, keeping the focus clear all the time.

The scope is zero resettable so it is very quick and easy to sight in. This product is 1/4 MOA and both elevation and windage adjustment is resettable. Furthermore, it also features a sunshade and side focus.

The mil does reticle significantly increases accuracy, particularly at great distances.

Honestly, it is one of the main reasons why the mil-dot reticle is the standard for tactical scopes., for both law enforcement and military agencies.

A downside is that the scope needs to be mounted correctly so the tube can be level with the barrel. Or else, it can be off target slightly. However, this may not be an issue for a professional hunter and there are a lot of gunsmiths who can mount the scope with ease.

Best for: Professional hunters, short range shooting

Pros

  • Zero-resettable
  • Clear optics
  • Durable
  • Great for use with bolt action

Cons

  • Quite expensive

For long range

4. Leupold 115390 Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope


This scope is one of the high-quality rifle scopes for 308 and it is not a disappointment at all. It comes with Mil-Dot reticle for an accurate shot. It weighs only a pound and is one foot in length.

The eye relief is between 3.5 and 4.5 inches, thus, making it much more comfortable for hunters to shoot. The scope is also filled with Krypton and Argon so it is totally fog proof even if it is used in cold temperatures.

The lenses are multi-coated so the scope is waterproof and shockproof as well. Besides, it is built to resist the heavy recoil of a 308. If you are looking for a vivid color transmission, it is what you need. It also gives you clarity of view.

Even though the mil-dot reticle makes this one a good choice for tactical use, it can be a good choice for beginners as well. The mil-dot features both vertical and horizontal scadia.

Due to the excellent optics, this item is very easy for you to use. You can totally acquire the target quickly and once you sight in, the reticle will help you estimate distances for a shot.

Furthermore, a mil adjustment is a military standard which is also very easy to master once you understand what it is.

Best for: professional hunters, shoot range shooting

Pros

  • Highly accurate
  • Hold zero well
  • Weather resistant
  • Low light level performance

Cons

  • Quite expensive

For hunting rifle

5. FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope W front AO adjustment


If you need a scope for 308 that is able to reach out at more than 500 yards, this can be the best for you.

This FSI has a clear reticle in the 2nd focal plane, just like any scope for long range shooting. Therefore, its size is consistent. Also, its reticle is illuminated and comes in green, red, blue settings.

The elevation and windage adjustments are very easy for you to handle. Also, you’d a better lock down those adjustments, or else, they may be knocked off when the rifle is fired.

Once locked, the scope has to be able to resist more powerful cartridges than 308.

The lenses are very effective and you can get clean images through the lenses.

Once you pass the magnification of 20X, the image may be blurry at first, but after that, it is extremely clear. Its eye relief is magnanimous throughout the range of magnification and it can give you comfortable position for shooting at distances.

There are a few little aspects which need to be mentioned, however, it’s generally sturdy and if you want to take a shot at about 500 yards, this is without a doubt, a good option.

Best for: long range shooting

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great eye relief
  • Can reduce reflection and glare well

Cons

  • Picture may be blurry at the high end of the magnification

Comparison

Dimension Eye relief

Magnification

Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope

 

15.4 x 4.8 x 3.1 Quick focus 4-16X
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope 10.4 x 1.6 x 2.1 Quick focus 3-12X

 

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Riflescope

 

16.30 x 3.12 x x 2.50 3.3 inches, Quick focus 4-12x
Leupold 115390 Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope  2.8 x 3.2 x 14 3.5 inches

 

3-9X

 

FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope  2.72 x 2.87 x 15.75 3.3 inches 6-24X

 

Final thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best scope for 308, there are a lot of things you need to consider.

However, if you have a deep understanding of each feature, I’m sure that it’s not difficult for you to choose a good scope.

Hope you guys enjoyed the article and found it helpful for you to choose the most suitable scope for your next hunting season.

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