.308 Winchester cartridges came into being in the early 1950s. It took the commercial hunting market by storm and quickly became the most popular ammo.
Since its inception, rifle models and riflescopes were introduced that complimented this cartridge.
In today’s world, .308 Winchester is used by snippers and military personnel. While shooting at long distances, you will need a .308 scope for your .308 rifle.
If you had an eye on a deer which used to run away when you went closer to it then you definitely need a scope in order to hit the animal from far away and with greater precision.
Before revealing our top 10 .308 scopes we would like you to know the factor that you need to consider while purchasing a .308 scope.
Things to look for in a .308 Scope
The essential things that you should look for in a .308 scope are:
A .308 is meant to shoot medium and large distances. Buying a scope with lower magnification power will definitely undermine the power of your .308 rifle.
Aim for a scope that can get you to hit targets which are 500 yards away. A good short range scope will not be a good option for your .308 rifle.
For longer ranges you want your view to be as clear as possible. A distorted image will do you no good and you will end up with missing your target.
A scope that has greater image clarity is a must have with your .308 rifle. Look for a .308 which provides crisp and clear images at longer distances.
Also, remember that your .308 scope should not lose clarity even in low light conditions. To check for clarity, you might want to test the scope beforehand and check for reviews given by other buyers.
.308 rifles are associated with high recoil. They are mostly used in harsh environments by serious hunters and military personnel.
Keeping in mind that a .308 has to withstand these unforgiving conditions and massive recoil, you should look for a scope that is durable, shockproof and long-lasting.
For serious hunters, hiding in the woods near bushes and limbs is a must. In such circumstances, your scope should be able to resist scratches. Look for a scratch less coating on your optics!
A solid construction means that your scope will be able to withstand coil and any other shocks. A good shock proof and strongly made .308 scope is your best bet.
With your .308 scope, you wish to have really bright images. For this purpose, you would want your objective lens to have a large size.
A small objective lens, although light in weight, does not allow enough light to enter your scope and is therefore not very useful in low light conditions.
You need your scope to have ample illumination. This can be achieved by going for a large sized objective lens. A typical large sized lens is between 40mm to 56mm.
If you are new to the world of .308 scopes then here are some basic facts related to these scopes:
- Reliable – what makes a scope reliable? For us, reliability is achieved when your scope is able to reset to zero and to hold it as well. Any scope that makes you set your scope to zero every time your shoot is not a reliable one. Reliability also comes with consistency. If you scope is able to perform consistently, then it is a reliable one. You obviously don’t want the performance of your scope to decline with every shot you take with your .308 rifle.
- Price – For many people, price of the scope plays an important role. You need to set a budget for your scope. It is truly an investment and you don’t want to waste a $1000 on a crappy scope. If there is some amazing quality high priced model that you are unable to purchase at some point in time, then we recommend you to save up and don’t settle for anything that is cheaply made.
Now that you know the things that you should look for in a .308 riflescope, here are the top 10 scopes that you need to know about.
Top 10 Best .308 Scope Reviews
- UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings
- Burris Eliminator III Reticle Laser Scope, 3X-12X – 44mm
- Nikon M-308 SF 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ Nikoplex Reticle, Black – 16462
- FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope W front AO adjustment. Red/Blue/green mil-dot reticle. Comes with extended sunshade and Heavy Duty Ring Mount
- Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
- Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ ACSS Reticle PAC5X
- Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
- Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16 x 42 Matte Mil Dot Reticle with Rainguard Riflescope
- Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Riflescope
- Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope, Matte Black
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, Rings
If you own a .308 rifle, then this compact scope from UTG is your best friend. It features a tactical range estimating (TRE) mil-dot reticle with full 36-color EZ Tap IE technology.
Unlike traditional reticles, this reticle gives you 9 aiming points on each cross hair which enhances accuracy to the next level. The EZ Tap illumination enhancing technology allows you to control color of the reticle using 36-color multi-mode operation.
With a magnification power of 3-12X, you can hit targets at a distance. Multi Emerald Coated Lenses including the 30mm objective lens offer great amount of light.
This scope has ergonomic controls and side wheel adjustable turrets that make adjustments as smooth and easy as possible.
True Strength Platform with a Smart Spherical Structure (SSS) provides durability and allows the scope to withstand even extreme recoil. The sturdy construction makes it shockproof.
It is purged with nitrogen and completely sealed in order to make it waterproof and fog proof. This scope comes with TactEdge® Angled Integral Sunshade, lifetime warranty, flip open caps and mounting rings.
Pros – UTG 3-12X44 is a well-built scope with a mil-dot reticle that works like a dream. It is also able to withstand the recoil that .308 rifles experience!
Burris Eliminator III Reticle Laser Scope, 3X-12X – 44mm
Considered as one of the most advanced riflescopes, Eliminator III knocks down targets at very long-ranges. It has Burris’s very own X96 reticle.
With just one button, this reticle displays the correct aiming point and the distance to the target. This process takes place at any magnification level from 3X to 12X.
Although you have to estimate the actual wind speed on the X96 reticle yet a 10mph value for a .308 cartridge is displayed on the reticle.
It has a large sized 44mm objective lens which lets greater light to enter the scope. The Hi-Lume® multicoating on the optics allows for brighter images and reduces glare. There are 5 brightness settings which are controlled by push buttons.
The laser on the scope can reach out to more than 1200 yards. Programming cartridge is not an issue, thanks to the Enhanced Extreme Range Ballistic Programming.
It is a rugged scope that runs on 1 CR123A battery. It is backed up with Burris Forever Warranty.
Pros – Eliminator III works like a charm. It has the speed, accuracy and the strength that is required of any .308 scopes.
Nikon M-308 SF 4-16x42mm Riflescope w/ Nikoplex Reticle, Black – 16462
Designed for heavy caliber rifles including a .308 rifle, M-308 is a long-range must have. It comes with a Nikoplex reticle which offers a simple aiming point.
This second focal plane non illuminated reticle can be used in conjunction with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. This technology lets you find exact aiming points on the reticle.
M-308 has a powerful magnification range of 4-16X and an oversized 42mm objective lens, making it perfect for all the long-range shooters out there.
Ultra ClearCoat® Optical System combines with fully multi-coated optics in order to transmit 95% light. You are able to see brighter images from your scope!
This riflescope is very comfortable to use, thanks to the Eye box technology which gives 4 inches of constant eye relief. You also instantly acquire your target using the quick-focus eyepiece.
M-308 has tactical style turrets which allow you to quickly reset to zero as well as do other adjustments.
It is a 100% waterproof, shockproof and fog proof model. Its one-piece design makes this riflescope strong and durable. With this scope you can enjoy Nikon No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy.
Pros – If you own a .308 firearm, then you definitely need this scope. With HD clarity and easy eye relief, M-308 is a superb quality riflescope.
FSI Sniper 6-24x50mm Scope
If you are looking for an inexpensive scope with high power then FSI Sniper Scope is what you need. To start off, it uses a mil-dot illuminated reticle with red, blue and green illumination.
Unlike other Chinese riflescopes, Sniper has a clear glass without a hint of yellow to it. It is very much comparable to scopes that made in Japan or Germany.
It comes with a front Adjustable Objective (AO) adjustment. This means that you can adjust your large 50mm objective lens from the front.
Sniper is a high powered scope with magnification power ranging between 6x to 24x. The windage/elevation adjustments are made using ball and bearing turrets.
The superior multi-coated optics allow for more light to enter the scope.
It has a rugged design with a 6061 T6 Aircraft Grade Body that is shock resistant and is able to withstand coil in .308 firearms.
While mostly manufacturers offer limited time warranty, FSI offers 100% satisfaction guaranty. This means that any issue that comes up with your scope will be resolved by the manufacturer.
When you purchase this scope, you also get an extended sunshade and a heavy duty ring mount.
Pros – Sniper works perfectly with a .308 style weapon. It mounts quite easily and holds steady zero like a charm. Keeping in mind its price, the overall performance of Sniper is extra-ordinary.
Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope
The AccuPoint series scopes from Trijicon are their longest-ranged riflescopes. This is a perfect option for hunters and shooters who are looking to extend their range.
TR23 uses a BAC Triangle Post reticle with red, green or Amber light. There is an illuminated triangle at the center of the reticle without any additional crosshairs.
This second focal plane dual illuminated does not use batteries. It relies on fiber optic technology and a tritium phosphor lamp for illumination. It is great for shooters who use their scope for long hours. It also does not emit any light from the objective lens.
The variable magnification range of 5-20X allows you to hit targets that are located at a long-distance. The oversized 50mm objective lens transmits a large amount of ambient light.
You experience zero distortion and superior clarity with multi-coated superior quality lenses.
The external turrets allow for windage/elevation adjustments and are very user-friendly.
Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Housing with Hard anodized finish makes it suitable for tough conditions. When used in water, it stays waterproof till 10 feet or 3 meters.
This scope comes with a sunshade, lens caps and warranty.
Pros – TR23 is a perfect mate for a .308 firearm. Its reticle is ultra-clear and the illuminated triangle aids in acquiring target in extremely low-light conditions.
Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ ACSS Reticle PAC5X
Specifically designed for a .308 Winchester, this compact prism hunting scope is set to provide fast ranging and a quick hold of moving targets.
It features a second focal plane illuminated ACSS Standard 5.56 / 5.45 / .308 reticle that comes with 5 red and 5 green brightness settings. In order to control these settings, a CR2032 lithium battery is required.
This fixed 5x scope is great for medium range hunting. Its durable design allows it to withstand recoil and harsh weather conditions.
Its capped turrets allow for quick adjustment. It comes with a 1913 Picatinny mount which makes it a versatile riflescope.
It is compatible with ACOG mounts, AR15 standard bases and AK 47 platforms. It has a removable base or a quick detach design.
Primary Arms provides flip caps, mounting accessories and a 3 year warranty on this compact riflescope.
Pros – This is a very well-built scope with crystal clear optics and a comfortable eye relief. It truly complements .308 Winchester rifles with quick mounting and great shock resistance.
Vortex Optics Diamondback HP 4-16×42 Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
Diamondback High Performance (HP) riflescope is a dream comes true for professional hunters out there. With a dead-hold BDC reticle, estimating holdover at different ranges is not a concern anymore.
This second focal plane bullet drop compensator reticle has customized dots which assist in removing any guesswork while estimating holdover/windage.
It has a highly versatile magnification power of 4-16X with a Precision-Glide Erector System. This system allows you to have smooth magnification.
The optics includes XR™ Fully Multi-Coated XD™ Lens Elements. The coatings transmit more light while at the same time work as anti-reflective. The XD elements, on the other hand, increase resolution and provide crisp images.
The capped reset turrets and the fast focus eyepiece allow quick and easy focusing.
Aircraft-Grade Aluminum gives Diamondback HP strength whereas the one-piece design offers accuracy. Being a shockproof scope, it is perfect for .308 rifles.
O-ring seals and Argon gas purging prevent moisture and internal fogging. Its hard anodized finish allows you to easily camouflage your position.
When you buy this scope, the package includes a 4-inch sunshade, protective lens cover and a lens cloth. Vortex also provides its VIP Unconditional Lifetime Warranty with this scope.
Pros – Diamondback HP not only mounts perfectly on a .308 style weapon but it also performs really well. It withstands the recoil and holds zero. Even under low light, the view with this scope is crystal clear.
Bushnell Elite 6500 2.5-16 x 42 Matte Mil Dot Reticle with Rainguard Riflescope
Elite 6500 series riflescopes are all-rounder scopes with a wide magnification range (2.5-16X), high resolution and a hydrophobic design.
While the scope offers quite a few different types of reticle, this particular one has a mil-dot reticle. This reticle has four evenly spaced dots on both the horizontal and vertical crosshair. The center does not have a dot which allows for a perfect aiming point.
The large 42mm objective lens works great at gathering a large amount of light. The fully multi coated optics increase brightness and the Ultra-Wide Band Coating makes the lens anti-reflective. Additional moisture prevention is done by RainGuard HD.
For windage/elevation adjustments, push/pull style turrets are available. They can be resetted to zero as well.
Elite 6500 is made from 100% quality materials which make it a rugged and shock proof scope. This magnum recoil-proof tested scope will work perfectly with your .308 win mag.
It is also sealed with O-rings and purged with argon for complete water and fog protection.
This scope is equipped with a 3inch sunshade and it carries an Elite Bullet Proof warranty that is provided by Bushnell.
Pros – Elite 6500 has a solid construction with clear glass and a great field of view.
Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Riflescope
Tested by a Prostaff member from Nikon, this riflescope stays on target under any conditions. It features Nikon’s Patented BDC reticle.
This reticle has see-through ballistic circles which assist in long-range shooting. For short ranges, the normal crosshair center aiming point is utilized.
The performance of the reticle is enhanced by Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. With this technology you can discover all the exact aiming points on the reticle.
Prostaff has a magnification power of 3-9x which is great for short to medium ranges. Its 40mm objective lens gives bright vision. The optical system is fully multi-coated and it allows 98% light transmission.
Precise adjustments are made using the Spring-Loaded Instant Zero-Reset Turrets. The generous consistent eye relief allows for comfortable shooting.
This scope is sealed with O-rings and purged with nitrogen in order to make it waterproof and fog proof. It has a strong aluminum body which is able to resist shocks when mounted on a .308 rifle.
Prostaff is backed with Nikon No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy as well as Nikon’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Pros – This scope is a perfect match for a .308 win. It has great clarity and a superb magnification. It is also an extremely durable scope.
Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope, Matte Black
Developed for medium-range targeting, Leupold VX-2 is your go to riflescope for your .308 rifle. It has an LR Duplex Reticle.
Leupold’s Index Matched Lens System increases brightness and enhances image resolution as well. Its large 40mm objective lens also transmits a great amount of light.
The exterior lens has a DiamondCoat lens coating which prevents abrasion and makes them scratch proof.
Ideal for any situation, VX-2 features a 3-9x magnification power or 3:1 zoom erector system. It has a ballistic aiming system which allows you to set and save multiple power settings according to your cartridge’s ballistics.
It has a one-piece body that is constructed using 6061-T6 aluminum. It is filled with Argon/Krypton gas in order to make it both waterproof and fog proof.
It comes with Leupold Full Lifetime Warranty and other accessories.
Pros – VX-2 is an amazing hunting scope made for .308 weapons. It has a crystal clear glass which gathers a lot of light.
For all the passionate hunters out there looking for a long range scope for their .308 rifle, a .308 scope is a must have.
Such a scope is set to complement your firearm, give your more clarity and enhance your overall performance in the field.
Again, don’t forget to choose a .308 scope that has a magnification power greater than 1X or 2X and a durable construction.
Our above suggestions have been tried and tested by hundreds of .308 rifle owners around the world. These will surely not disappoint you!