Since the cartridge was first released in 1952, the .308 Winchester has become one of the most popular rifle chamberings on the market. Available in every rifle action type from bolt to semi-auto, .308 has plenty to offer.
If you’re contemplating an optic for your .308 rifle, but aren’t sure what to look for, we’ve got you covered. We’ve done the research for you and compiled this handy guide to finding the best .308 scope to meet your shooting needs. We even have a list of our top picks. Keep reading to find out more.
If you don't have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated .308 scopes:
- 1NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
- 2Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Riflescope
- 3Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm Riflescope
- 4EOTech Vudu 3.5-18x50mm Precision Rifle Scope
- 5Trijicon 1-6x24 VCOG Riflescope
- 6Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm Riflescope
- 7UTG 3-12X44 30mm Scope
- 8Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 Riflescope
- 9Monstrum G2 1-4x24 FFP Rifle Scope
- 10ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20x Digital Scope
Table of Contents
- What To Look For In a .308 Scope?
- Best .308 Scopes on the Market Reviews
- 1 NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
- 2 Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Riflescope
- 3 Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm Riflescope
- 4 EOTech Vudu 3.5-18x50mm Precision Rifle Scope
- 5 Trijicon 1-6x24 VCOG Riflescope
- 6 Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm Riflescope
- 7 UTG 3-12X44 30mm Scope
- 8 Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 Riflescope
- 9 Monstrum G2 1-4x24 FFP Rifle Scope
- 10 ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20x Digital Scope
- Summing It Up
What To Look For In a .308 Scope?
Known for its long range accuracy, .308 is commonly used for a variety of shooting applications, including big game hunting and long-range target competition. It has even replaced the venerable .30-06 as the U.S. military’s sniper rifle of choice.
.308 Winchester has an impressive range (1000 yards according to the US Marine Corps). While you shouldn’t expect to make shots consistently at extreme distances without some serious sniper training, you can make accurate shots out to 800 yards with a .308 and the right riflescope.
However, not every shooter will engage targets at those distances. Thankfully, .308 Winchester also makes a great mid-range (150 to 350 yards) rifle, which is the perfect distance for most deer hunters.
There are plenty of riflescopes for your .308 to choose from. Some are better suited for certain shooting applications than others.
Here are some important things to consider when choosing a scope for your .308 rifle.
How Much Magnification Do I Need?
The level of magnification you need mostly depends on how you plan to use your rifle.
For big game hunters, a scope in the 6-9x range should be plenty for shooting deer, elk, and bear out to 250 yards.
If your rifle will see more use on the target range, you’ll want a scope with higher magnification. If you want to attempt that 1000 yard shot, you’ll need a powerful optic with at least 24x magnification.
For tactical applications, a .308 with a low power variable optic (like the 1-6x VCOG) makes a great rig for a designated marksman.
How Much Eye Relief Do I Need?
.308 Winchester produces some relatively mild recoil, so eye relief isn’t as big a concern as it is with heavier hitting cartridges. However, don’t underestimate how much space you may need. Getting clocked in the eye with a rifle scope hurts, so you want to do everything you can to prevent it. Look for a scope that provides about 3 ½ to 4 inches of eye relief to be on the safe side.
If you want a scout rifle set-up that allows you to use your scope with both eyes open, you’ll want an optic with more generous eye relief.
Do I Need to Adjust for Parallax?
Parallax is an optical effect that makes the scope’s reticle seem to shift or float when you move your head. This happens because you're looking at a reticle that isn’t on the same focal plane as your target.
Parallax isn’t much of an issue for short to mid-range shooting. Scopes designed for these ranges are usually already parallax-adjusted. However, if you’re shooting a long-range scope, especially one with high power magnification, parallax can be a serious issue. If you need to shoot targets at distance, find a scope with parallax adjustment.
Best .308 Scopes on the Market Reviews
1 NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
There’s no denying that NightForce knows how to produce precision long-range optics. This one works well for both close and extended ranges on varmints as well as big game. It also does a fine job of punching tight groups through paper targets.
The NightForce SHV has a massive 56mm objective lens that helps provide some of the brightest images possible, even at twilight. The lens quality is superb, delivering amazing clarity and color contrast at every magnification level.
The SHV also features an ample range of elevation adjustments, an easy 25-yard parallax adjustment, and a handy ZeroSet feature. ZeroSet allows you to quickly return to your initial zero, no matter how many elevation adjustments you make.
2 Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm Riflescope
Leupold has been specializing in high-quality American-made optics for five generations. Although every riflescope in their line-up is top-notch, the VX-5HD is particularly well-suited for a bolt action .308.
The 3-15x magnification range lets you take full advantage of any hunting scenario. It performs well dialed down for hunting deer in the thick swamps of the Southeast. However, it does just as well on pronghorn across open prairie when you crank it up to full magnification.
The Leupold VX-5HD has incredible glass quality and features fully multi-coated lenses for razor-sharp images and true-to-life colors. It also features Leupold’s patented Twilight Max HD Light Management System. This system is designed to deliver incredible image quality, even in low light conditions. This unique feature works to effectively extend available shooting light by up to 20 minutes at dawn and dusk.
3 Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm Riflescope
The Viper HS-T from Vortex Optics is a versatile mid-priced .308 scope. It will certainly be appreciated by hunters, competitors, and tactical shooters alike.
Built with extra low dispersion (ED) lenses that are fully multi-coated, the image quality produced by this scope will make your jaw drop.
The Viper HS-T has exposed target-style turrets that deliver audible, tactile clicks for easy, precise and repeatable adjustments. Long range shooters will also appreciate the CRS Zero Stop that provides a reliable return to zero after every elevation correction.
Not only does the Viper Vortex deliver incredible image quality, it is also built for harsh conditions. It is argon purged and o-ring sealed for true waterproof, fogproof, shockproof performance. The lenses are armor coated for extra scratch protection, and the housing is made from a single piece of rugged aircraft grade aluminum.
The Vortex Viper comes in a variety of reticle configurations, so you can choose from mil dot or MOA BDC designs for incredibly accurate holds, even at extreme ranges.
4 EOTech Vudu 3.5-18x50mm Precision Rifle Scope
If you want accuracy so precise you could drive tacks at mid to long ranges, this is the scope for the job.
Although EOTech is best known for their high-performance holographic sights, they also make a stellar line of riflescopes. Perfect for a tactical style rifle, like an AR-10 or Ruger Precision .308, the EOTech Vudu line is made for the battlefield. Although incredibly rugged, these rifle scopes are made from lightweight aircraft grade aluminum, so you won’t need to worry about your optic weighing down your tactical rifle.
The easy-to-use tactical turrets come with removable caps to prevent accidental adjustments. Features include a side-mounted parallax adjustment dial, an illuminated SFP reticle, and a convenient throw lever for fast, effortless magnification adjustments.
5 Trijicon 1-6x24 VCOG Riflescope
Trijicon released its VCOG (Variable Combat Optical Gunsight) as a follow up to its popular, battle-proven ACOG, and this optic does not disappoint. Like the ACOG, this variable 1-6x rifle scope is built like a tank. This thing is virtually indestructible.
While pulling off 1000-yard shots would be a serious stretch, the VCOG is perfect for CQB to mid-range shooting. If you’re looking for an optic to top your DMR (designated marksman rifle), this is the perfect tool for the job.
The VCOG features an illuminated FFP reticle, multi-coated lenses with impressive light gathering capabilities, and 6 brightness settings powered by a simple AA battery.
6 Burris 200261 Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm Riflescope
With some seriously generous eye relief, the Burris Ballistic Plex Riflescope allows you to keep both eyes open when you line up crosshairs on downrange targets. It is perfect for anyone looking to top a scout rifle like the Ruger Scout or the Steyr Scout. This is definitely one of the most affordable scout scopes on the market, and we’re genuinely surprised that it's priced well under $500.
Don’t let the price tag fool you, though. This is anything but a budget scope. Lightweight, yet heavy duty, the Burris Ballistic Plex riflescope proves that affordable optics don’t have to suck. Fully fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof, the Ballistic Plex is built for rough use in harsh conditions.
7 UTG 3-12X44 30mm Scope
We realize not every shooter has a couple thousand bucks lying around to invest in a rifle scope. That’s why we’ve included this budget optic from UTG. This 3-12x scope is more than capable and makes a decent addition to a straight-from-the-factory Remington 700.
It features multi emerald-coated lenses that are designed to enhance light transmission. While you shouldn’t expect the crisp, bright image quality of a high-end Swarovski or Leupold, UTG does a better than decent job for an optic in this price range.
The scope features an illuminated ranging reticle that makes estimating distance easy, even for beginners. Nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed, this UTG scope is fogproof and waterproof.
Although it doesn't come with a hefty price tag, it does sport a pretty hefting weight. This one tips the scale at a substantial 26 ounces.
8 Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 Riflescope
As the name implies, the Nikon Buckmasters II rifle scope is built for the serious deer hunter. With a price tag well under $300, it also makes a great option for the budget conscious shooter.
The Nikon Buckmasters II features fully multi-coated lenses, providing impressive brightness and clarity. Hunters will also appreciate the scope’s generous eye relief, positive-click turrets, and reliable fogproof performance.
What we really love about this riflescope is Nikon’s popular BDC reticle. It is designed with unique see-through ballistic circles that provide a full sight picture at short ranges while still giving the benefit of BDC marks for serious long-range accuracy.
9 Monstrum G2 1-4x24 FFP Rifle Scope
If you’re looking for a close to mid-range scope to top your .308, this G2 rifle scope from Monstrum is an awesome option. It also comes at a price point that won’t put a major hurting on your bank account.
The reticle on this riflescope looks like something you’d expect to see on a high-end riflescope, only it doesn’t come with a high-end price tag. It is a first focal plane (FFP) reticle that provides easy-to-read ranging information that remains constant through the entire magnification range. This allows for faster, more accurate holdover corrections every time you make a shot.
The reticle also has illumination in both red and green for maximum visibility on any backdrop. You can also switch through multiple brightness settings to find the right match for nearly any lighting condition.
10 ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20x Digital Scope
Far more than a riflescope, this digital scope from ATN has some serious high-tech features, including an HD image display, a built-in rangefinder, and an on-board ballistic calculator.
Perfect for nighttime hog hunts or after-dark tactical operations, the X-Sight HD also has both a day and night mode, so you can seamlessly transition from daylight to no light shooting.
One of the coolest features the X-Sight II has to offer is its Recoil Activated Video (RAV) recording. This allows you to capture all the heart-thumping action, even when you forget to switch on your video camera. The device automatically records the 30 seconds prior to your shot and continues recording the excitement for an additional 30 seconds. It even stitches all your videos together into one. It’s like having your own personal videographer mounted right on your rifle.
Summing It Up
.308 Winchester remains a popular cartridge for hunting, target competition, and tactical shooting. For accuracy and consistency, especially when engaging mid to long range targets, you need a high quality optic.
We’ve done our best to point you in the right direction as you search for the best .308 scope. No matter which optic you decide to pair with your rifle, make sure to carefully sight it in. Once you’ve established your zero, you should spend some extra time practicing with your new shooting set-up. Proficiency with your equipment is ultimately the best weapon in your arsenal.