What is the best 308 scope? The .308 Winchester is one of the most popular hunting cartridges in the United States, and possibly the world. It has gained popularity in many countries as an exceptional cartridge for game in the medium- to large-sized class. In North America it is used extensively on Whitetail Deer, Pronghorn and even the occasional Caribou or Black Bear. As 308 rifles are so popular for hunting, scopes are a feature that is one of those rifle accessories that any decent 308 rifles has to have. So we looked at 5 popular rifle scopes to determine which of them we believe is the best 308 scope available.
5 Top 308 Scope Options
Below we looked at 5 popular rifles scopes that we really like. Of course we realize there are many other quality rifle scopes out there that could be argued to be the best 308 scope. And that is fair. We picked the scopes below based on practical factors, such as budget, practical use and quality. There are scopes out there that are truly great scopes, but that unfortunately costs thousands of Dollars. For us, the best 308 scope needs to be reasonably affordable while still satisfying our requirements in terms of what we want to use it for and quality. If you have some thoughts on the best 308 scope, please feel free to share them with us in the comments section. We would love to hear from you!
Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope with BDC 800 Reticle
While at first glance, a rifle’s scope may not appear to be one of its more necessary components, the right one is vital to calculated, accurate firing, and heavy caliber rifles have special concerns in this area. This Nikon model certainly meets them with a scope eyepiece that is easy to use and quick to focus, in addition to being fog proof, water proof, and shock proof. This makes this an excellent scope for outdoor and rugged, survivalist situations. In addition, this scope’s oversized lens enhances magnification and target tracking for users, resulting in greater firing accuracy. Other attributes of this scope that rank it one of our “best 308 scope” nominees include a one piece, non-moving scope mount, and a anti-reflective, honey-comb or waffle lens cover. Some users have complained that some retailers have not included this scope’s mount with it when shipped, so buyers are warned to make sure that all intended accessories are included when purchasing from on-line retailers. It generally retails for around $425.00.
UTG 3-9X32 1″ BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-Dot, QD Rings
While this product from UTG certainly qualifies for consideration in our best 308 scope competition, a warning. Shipping by manufacturers of authentic models is limited to the continental United States. Inferior counterfeits produced in China of this product have flooded the market. As always, to make sure that one is getting the best 308 scope for one’s money, one should deal with online firearm retailers with caution. But for those who have purchased an authentic BugBuster Scope for their 308, this is a generally good product. While the manufacturer’s claim that this scope can sight targets anywhere from “three yards to infinity” is debatable, this scope does have excellent range and magnification. It features multiple locking turrets for mounting and stability. The Bugbuster has a emerald coated 1″ barrel for maximum light transmission to the scope. It also features dual red/green sighting, which both allows for a maximum viewing field, and helps to relieve eye strain. This scope is also water proof, shock proof, and fog proof. It comes with a protective flip-up lens cover. One serious drawback with this particular scope is its reticle, which is difficult to level correctly. This scope generally retails for $79.00.
If users looking for the best 308 scope are searching for a smaller, more exclusively sold one, then they may be interested in this compact scope offered from Nikon. This model is not quite as sturdy as other scopes described here, but it is water and fog proof. Its BDC reticle offers a easy to focus and use eyepiece with a 14″ range, and this scope’s barrel is coated to allow maximum light transmission. It has good target accuracy up to 600 yards, and this scope works well in conjunction with Nikon’s digital scoping application. Only complaint from some users is weather malfunctioning, but this is rare. This particular scope is only available from third party retailers, and generally sells for around $200.00.
Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope, Matte Black, Duplex Reticle 110797
This best 308 scope candidate is manufactured by Leupold, a popular foreign retailer. This scope works well with a variety of rifle models. But users looking for the best 308 scope should be warned than unlike other models described here, it comes with few frills for its price. This scope lacks a mounting system and a sun shade. It also lacks locking rings, although generic 1″ ones fit and hold nicely. On the plus side, this scope is fairly light weight, works well with a variety of rifles, allows for maximum light transmission, and provides excellent eye relief, especially for users wearing prescriptive anti-reflective lenses. This scope generally retails at around $200.00, and is one of Leupold’s more popular scope brands.
VORTEX Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA Riflescope, Dead Hold BDC Reticle, Matte Black (VPR-M-06BDC) MOA Turrets
This best 308 scope contender from Vortex is also the most expensive scope model reviewed here, but it also offers users a wide array of both sighting and view finding options, making this an excellent hunting scope. Among its features, the Vortex Optics Viper offers a dead-hold BDC reticle that makes it easy to make windage and hold-over corrections. This scope also features a side knob that allows users to make parallax adjustments, while still keeping range numbers visible. The improved scope tube is sturdier, and has both improved windage and elevation adjustments. This scope also makes it easier for users to transition between ranges when fixing on a target. And this scope comes with tall capped turrets, than makes it convenient for users to make adjustments in challenging conditions in the field. Very few users have had negative experiences with this model, with a few that have reported what appear to be defects in the glass. Consumers should probably do some window shopping before choosing a retailer for this particular model. Some offer accessories like a bi-pod and lens covers, others do not. The Vortex Optics Viper generally sells at most of these retailers at around $445.00.
Which Scope Do We Think Is The Best 308 Scope?
As we conclude our search for the best 308 scope, we need to ask ourselves the same questions we would when considering other hunting or any other piece of outdoor gear. Namely:
- What will you be using this product for?
- Does this product hold up and perform under a variety of physical conditions and other scenarios?
- What are you willing to pay for this?
The vast majority of users of a scope intended for 308 and similar rifle use will either be using it for hunting or pest control. As such, it’s highly unlikely that they will be using this scope to focus on fixed targets. Rather, they’ll first be doing some field trekking and tracking out of doors in varying terrains and light, plus weather and temperature extremes. Given the weight of this type of caliber rifle, a user’s ideal scope here would be lightweight, waterproof, immune to glass fogging, and able to shake off the effects of being dropped and getting banged around. These scopes should also have a wide range of vision, be able to be adjusted easily by the user, be comfortable to look through for long periods of time, and be able to be used with a variety of accessories, including digital ones, either made by the manufacturer, or comparable ones made by others. All of the scopes here get the same overall score in terms of range of vision and clarity. However, the BugBuster’s scope reticle has proven to be difficult to level, making this scope sometimes unreliable for field use.
All of the rifle scopes reviewed here pass the “real-life use” test to some degree. All five models offer some degree of moisture proofing and anti-fogging protection. With the exception of the Nikon Prostaff, most offer some degree of dropping or shock proofing. The Leupold scope also lacks locked one inch rings. While these can easily be obtained from other manufacturers, the lack of “factory fit” means that users might want to use extra care when transporting this scope into the field and using it.
All models have scopes that utilize natural light to good to excellent effect, and a lens with at least an adequate viewing range. The model with the best consistent far-viewing and targeting range is probably the Nikon Prostaff, although again, this scope’s vulnerabilities probably make best suited to the barnyard or a controlled hunting range. Both the UTG BugBuster and the Leupold offer anti-reflective built- in sights to alleviate eyestrain, while the other brands offer attachable accessories to do so.
In terms of pricing, the majority of scopes reviewed here fall within the very inexpensive (Bugbuster) to pricey (Vortex Optics Viper). Consumers should be warned that in the case of these particular scopes, the old adage “You pay what you get for” applies. While the BugBuster is a decent inexpensive scope, given this product’s various problems, ranging from shipping, to counterfeiting, to sighting flaws, unless the user wants a cheap scope to play with, an automatic upgrade is recommended. Users are warned to carefully examine all features offered with most of these scopes by online retailers as there is a fair amount of discrepancy.
And The Winner Is……..
So, given the user’s scope needs and the range of prices out there, which product is the very best 308 scope out there? In terms of overall quality and range of use, the winner is Vortex’s Optics Viper. While this is the most expensive of the reviewed items here, in terms of ease and range of use plus reliability, the Optics Viper is an outstanding example of what a heavy caliber rifle scope is supposed to be. It’s a sturdy, reliable scope that simply does what it is meant to, by providing comfortable, long range viewing and targeting under different conditions.
What Do You Think – What Is The Best 308 Scope?
Rifle scopes always seem to generate a lot of debate with folks as there are so many scope out there, and everyone has their specific favourites. It often depends on your individual requirements, budget and taste in gear. Above we discussed 5 scopes for the 308 rifle that we like, but we realise there are a bunch of other scopes that could be argued to be the best 308 scope. So, if you have some opinions on a scope that you think is the best 308 scope but is not on our list, please share your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!