The .308 Winchester cartridge is undeniably one of the most popular rifle cartridges in the U.S. if not the world. The .308 Winchester traces its lineage back to military experiments in the 1940s to replace the .30-06 Springfield cartridge. Winchester saw the potential for the military experimental; round and introduced the >308 Winchester in 1952.
Buying a rifle scope for a larger caliber rifle poses several challenges. Most civilian shooters of the .308 rifle are sportsmen or long-range competitive shooters. Each of these categories of shooters wants to take advantage of the range provided by the .308 Winchester and the lighter weight and less punishing recoil of other calibers that offer similar performance.
Our choices of the best .308 rifle scopes come from our research, comments and experiences of users of the scopes, and a comparison of data provided by the scope manufacturers.
Best .308 Rifle Scopes
|Vortex Viper PST|
|Bushnell Elite Tactical G2|
|Trijicon TR23 Accupoint|
|Nikon Buck Master II Rifle Scope|
|Leopold 115390 Mark AR|
Our Top Picks
- 1 1.Nikon M-308 16 4-16x42SF BDC Reticle – Best Overall .308 Rifle Scope
- 2 2.Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3 – Best .308 Rifle Scope Under $300
- 3 3.Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm Riflescope – Best .308 Rifle Scope Under $600
- 4 4. SWFA SS 10x42M Tactical 30mm Riflescope – Best .308 Rifle Scope with a Mil-dot Reticle
- 5 5. Nightforce NX8 F1 Rifle Scope – Best .308 Rifle Scope for Extreme Ranges
- 6 6. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24×50 – Best Rifle Scope for AR10 style Rifles
- 7 7. Vortex Viper PST Rifle Scope
- 8 8. Bushnell Elite Tactical G2
- 9 9.Leopold 115390 Mark AR
- 10 10. Nikon Buck Master II Rifle Scope
- 11 Features
- 12 Specification
- 13 What to Look For in a .308 Rifle Scope?
- 14 What Rifle Scope does the U.S. Military Use?
- 15 How do I Know What Magnification to Choose?
1.Nikon M-308 16 4-16x42SF BDC Reticle – Best Overall .308 Rifle Scope
Our choice as the best overall .308 rifle scope goes to Nikon and their M-308 Rifle Scope. The Nikon designed and built this scope specifically for rifles chambered for both the .308 Winchester round and the NATO 7.72 x 51 cartridge. The combination of Nikon quality and the array of features of the M-308 scope for the price makes this a great all-around scope for .308 shooters.
- When paired with the BDC caliber designated reticle, the M-308 offers spot-on aiming. The BDS reticle system brings almost automatic bullet compensation for the 168-grain hollow point boat tail match bullet. No clicks or adjustments just hold over based on the reticle markings and shoot.
- Spring-loaded turrets and instant zero-reset make adjusting the scope quick and precise if adjustments in the field are necessary.
- Exposed and elevated turrets are easy to manipulate even when wearing gloves and are etched to retain their markings for many years.
- Side-focus parallax turret-mounted knob allows adjustment without leaving your shooting position.
- The BDC reticle offers instant holdover references out to 800 yards
- 4x zoom brings the target closer without distortion or loss of light gathering ability.
- Aircraft-grade aluminum tube
- Nitrogen purged
If you are looking for performance without a budget-busting price, the Nikon M-308 should be on your shopping list.
2.Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3 – Best .308 Rifle Scope Under $300
If you are on a budget and need the best possible scope for your .308 Winchester rifle, Vortex has just the scope for you. Vortex is known for its clear glass, quality construction, and attention to detail, the Crossfire Hog Hunter scope is a great choice. The Crossfire line of scopes brings the expansive range of Vortex features at a budget price.
- Fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission for the best in low-light shooting.
- Second Focal Plane reticle maintains the same appearance no matter what magnification you are using. The reticle markings are listed for range estimation, and the holdover and wind drift corrections are easy to see and use at the highest magnifications.
- The illuminated center dot on the reticle is adjustable for a precise and quick point of aim no matter what the light conditions.
- The Crossfire scope comes standard with the V-Plex reticle format
- Aircraft-grade aluminum construction means the 30mm tube is tough and durable.
- Capped Raised Turrets
- Adjustable objective lens for focusing and adjusting for parallax.
- Fast-focus eyepiece for quick and easy adjustments
If cost is a consideration, you can be sure that you are getting everything you need in a .308 scope with the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Hog Hunter Scope.
3.Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x50mm Riflescope – Best .308 Rifle Scope Under $600
Almost any shooter will instantly think of Leupold when asked about the best in optics. This U.S. company is known worldwide for the quality of its riflescopes and other optics. The Leupold VX-3i scope is no new entry to the market. This venerable scope has been serving hunters and competitive shooters for many years, and it continues to be popular among both groups.
- The rear focal plane reticle design keeps the reticle marks fine even at the extreme magnifications. The sub-tension marking change with the zoom to make fine-tuning of the ballistic reticles.
- A lightweight design helps disperse the energy of recoil while easing the load of carrying your rifle and scope.
- Twilight Max light management system increases low light transmittal and reduces glare by 65%.
- Edge to edge lends clarity
- The Leupold Duplex reticle design is more efficient and effective in low-light conditions. It allows quick target acquisition than most other reticle designs.
- A versatile 3:1 zoom ration allows faster and cleaner zoom functions for easier target acquisition.
Leupold offers the field or competitive shooter the optimum balance of features, quality, and price in a scope designed for larger calibers. The Leupold VX-31 riflescope is an excellent choice in the mid-range price category.
4. SWFA SS 10x42M Tactical 30mm Riflescope – Best .308 Rifle Scope with a Mil-dot Reticle
SWFA is not as well-known as most of the major manufacturers of rifle scopes, but their line of scopes offers some interesting and exceptional values. The SWFA scope line derives from a scope built for the U.S. Military. SWFA bought the factory overruns and then contracted to have the original factory continue to produce the scopes.
All the SWFA Scopes retain the military specifications as a minimum on their design and manufacturing processes. These scopes are durable and accurate. You won’t lack for features when you purchase an SWFA scope.
- The Mil-quad reticle system brings precise targeting and ballistic adjustments that can benefit hunters or competitive target shooters.
- Military-inspired specifications and quality control ensure a rugged and dependable scope under any conditions
- 10x fixed magnification means fewer internal moving parts to be subject to breaking from heavy recoil or field use.
- Side parallax adjustments from 10 – infinity
- Fully multi-coated lenses for exceptional light transmittal and clarity
- 300 mm aircraft-grade aluminum tube construction
SWFA scopes are, in our opinion, a hidden gem and should get a lot more attention from shooters and hunters. These scopes offer such great value for the features and quality that you will not be disappointed with your choice.
5. Nightforce NX8 F1 Rifle Scope – Best .308 Rifle Scope for Extreme Ranges
Nightforce scopes have become the go-to scopes for many military and law enforcement operators. The exceptional clarity of these scopes makes them popular among shooters who operate at extreme ranges or in more challenging conditions. Nightforce has built a reputation for incredible rifle optics that can be counted on to deliver accurate aiming in any situation.
These are by no means the cheapest scopes on the market but, if you want to take your rifle to extreme ranges, you must invest in quality optics to be able to deliver rounds on target time and time again.
Professional shooters repeatedly rank Nightforce optics as their choice. The features and options available from Nightforce are what you would expect from a top of the line scope.
- Zero-Stop elevation adjustment for easy and rapid return to zero after adjustments
- 4 x 32 magnification for operating to extreme ranges
- First focal plane reticle keeps things in focus, sharp and easy to acquire
- High-quality extra-low dispersion glass for the best distortion-free low light transmittal
- The compact length of 13.4 inches makes this scope perfect for short action rifles
- Aircraft-grade aluminum 30mm tube for strength and durability
- Parallax adjustments from 11 yards to infinity
- Capped windage adjustments
- Power throw lever on the magnification ring for easy manipulation even with gloved hands
- Locking diopter adjustment
Going out long brings new challenges. You don’t want to add to those challenges by selecting a riflescope that adds more to the list. You can rest assured that mounting a Nightforce NX8 will not add to the challenges of going out to extreme distances and may make the task easier.
6. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24×50 – Best Rifle Scope for AR10 style Rifles
Mounting a scope on an AR-style platform can present significant challenges. It is often hard to get the scope positioned for optimum eye-relief while getting enough surface area on the mounting system to support a long and often heavy scope adequately.
Vortex Optics answers those challenges with the Vortex Optics Strick Eagle 4-24×50 riflescope. The size, weight, and construction of the Vortex Strike Eagle scope make it an exception fit on the AR-style platform and especially the AR10. The durability of Vortex scopes, when coupled with the lightweight of the AR rifle style, keeps the Vortex Strike Eagle scope an excellent choice for absorbing the recoil.
- Extra low dispersion glass increases resolution and color fidelity making images in the scope sharper and clearer
- All lenses fully multi-coated for increased light transmission and anti-reflective glare characteristics
- The second focal plane reticle maintains the same appearance of the reticle at any magnification. Range estimation, holdover and wind drift corrections remain accurate even at the highest magnification available.
- The glass-etched reticle design delivers higher reliability and durability.
- The 30mm tube is built from aircraft-grade aluminum for long and trouble-free life
- Fog proof
- Capped reset turrets
- EBR-4 reticle delivers optimum long-range accuracy and correction estimation
Many shooters who mount optics on an AR10 platform are looking for a versatile scope that can provide tactical as well as long-range capabilities. The Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 4-24×50 riflescope delivers on all these needs.
7. Vortex Viper PST Rifle Scope
The PST is a powerful optic that put together a variety of functional tactical features in an extensive range platform. The 308 scope makes use of a standard 30mm tube, a common size which is incredible. This makes finding the right scope easy. The PST has the ability to cover more than a thousand yard because it offers the power magnification of 6 to 24.
The scope has 50mm objective lens and fully coated lenses. These features ensure that the 24 power magnification boast its clarify. Depending on the weapon, the 50mm objective lens gives you the opportunity to mount the scope with low or medium mounts. When the scope is lower, it will be more in line with the weapon barrel. In fact, when it comes to sighting in the weapon, it can be your aid.
Additionally, the PST is enriched with an illuminated reticle having ten different positions. It also has an excellent control knob that gives an off switch between each settings of the illumination.
With this feature, you have the chance to put the illumination on your preferred settings without wasting time. If you are using a rifle that is lighter in weight this scope is for you because it is relatively lightweight and compact. For great rigidity and strength, the Vortex Viper PST is forged with aircraft grade 6061 T6 aluminum.
- Illuminated reticle
- Argon gas purged
- 30mm tube
- 50mm objective lens
- Control knob
- 6-24 power magnification
- Weight- 23.0 ounces
With many years of experience producing, optics Bushnell offers you the Elite Tactical G2 which is embedded with great features. This product is an incredible optic having the power of 6 to 24. It is connected to a 30mm single piece tube. The power it offers makes it perfect for shooting at long range.
One of the things that make it fantastic is the single piece tube it offers. It is because they are surely more accurate and ultimately stronger. When taking that eight-yard shot, precision is the main factor.
Easy To Use With Gloves
For elevation and windage, the Elite Tactical G2 makes use of a mil for reticle for precise holdovers. To make shooting more comfortable and also prevent glare, the scope has a fierce 3″ sunshade. Additionally, it is easy to use the scope with gloves because the G2 features high and wide turrets that are fingertip adjustable.
When you make any adjustments, you will receive a tactile and audible feedback. If you are one of those, who make corrections on the field the adjustable fingertip turrets is essential. For accurate and easy focusing, the scope features a side focus parallax adjustment.
Also, the parallax adjustment gives you the opportunity to rapidly adjust the focus of the scope as the range and magnification increase to your target.
- It is covered with lifetime warranty
- Lenses that are fully multi-coated having new ultra wide band coating which increases brightness
- Complete rainguard HD lens coating which hinders moisture and external forging.
- 1/10 mil Target turrets that are Zero resettable and finger adjustable
- 30mm tube diameter
- 50mm objective lens
- 6 to 24x magnification
The Leopold Mark AR features a mil-dot reticle for better precision. The eye relief of the scope is between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 inches which makes it comfortable for you to shoot. The product is fog proof and waterproof owing to the nitrogen and argon it tubes is purged with. It can survive the temperature of the environment whether warm or cold.
Additionally, the scope has a three to nine power magnification. It also features a large 40mm objective lens. You can adjust the mil-dot reticle and multi-coated lenses both vertically and horizontally. This ensures you get a clear image when you look through the scope. Indeed, it is the best Leupold scope for 308 you can see around.
10. Nikon Buck Master II Rifle Scope
The Buck master is a versatile scope which has a maximum magnification of 12x. This Nikon 308 scope makes use of a BDC duplex reticle. Also, for a clear picture and reticle, the buck master II showcases a quick focus eyepiece.
If you are in a lower light environment, this scope can still do what it is good at. For a crisp and clear image, the scope has coated lenses which allow maximum light transmission. Also, the product has a generous eye relief at 3.7 inches. Furthermore, it features turrets with zero resets and low profile. They are easily adjustable when you are in the field.
The turrets have quarter MOA click adjustment. While lining up a shot, they are easily adjustable. The scope is nitrogen purged, so it is fog proof and waterproof.
- O-ring –sealed housing and nitrogen-filled
- Quick-focus eyepiece
- Zero-reset turret
- Fully multi-coated optical system
- Magnification- 4 to 12x
- Objective lens- 40mm
- Eye relief- 3.7
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Look For in a .308 Rifle Scope?
Choosing a riflescope for a .308 rifle should be made after considering several factors.
- Magnification – The .308 Winchester round can easily go beyond 800 yards. Your rifle scope should have enough magnification to make seeing your target at that distance easy, even under the most challenging conditions. Factors such as clarity, optics coatings, and low-light transmission also figure into the choice.
- Eye Relief – Heavier recoil cartridges like the .308 Winchester require a generous eye relief to protect yourself. Choosing a riflescope with a longer eye relief can help you avoid some nasty results from getting to close to the end of your scope.
- Weight – If you are a hunter who may face a long trek through harsh terrain, the added weight of the scope to your rifle can be a concern. Finding the sweet spot between weight and the ability of the scope to absorb recoil is always a challenge but must be considered.
- Reticle – The style of the reticle is more a personal choice than an operational option. If you are more comfortable with a BDC reticle over a mil-dot style scope, you should certainly opt for your comfort.
What Rifle Scope does the U.S. Military Use?
The current issue rifle scope for U.S. army precision shooters is the Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 riflescope. This scope, according to Leupold, was designed from the ground up to meet the demands of the U.S. Army specifications precisely.
The Leupold scope features an MRAD reticle and is suitable for the NATO 7.62 x 52 round as well as the .300 Norma Magnum and the .338 Norma Magnum cartridges.
How do I Know What Magnification to Choose?
Selecting the maximum magnification for a .308 Winchester riflescope is a matter of how you use the scope. In general, these rules apply to choose the magnification for your riflescope.
- The maximum distance to the target – In general, the further the goal, the higher the magnification you want.
- The type of shooting you will do – If you are hunting, you will rarely take a shot more than 300 yards. Unless your eyesight is poor, a lower magnification scope is probably more than adequate. On the other hand, if you are a competitive shooter who routinely engages targets beyond 800 yards, more magnification is probably on your list.
- Zoom or fixed magnification? – Hunting is usually done at relatively unchanging known ranges. A fixed magnification scope may be a better choice. Without all the internal moving parts that come with a variable magnification scope, these fixed magnification scopes tend to be more durable. If you are shooting in conditions where ranges vary considerably, a zoom style scope is probably a better choice.
Down Range is the Ultimate Answer
In the end, the goal is put to rounds on target, consistently and with the minimum of effort. That should be the overriding factor in choosing the riflescope for you .308 Winchester rifle. Our choices kept that very thought in mind. We hope that you find the information we have provided useful.