Outdoors Magazine

Best Scope for 308 Rifles 2017 – Reviews and Guide

By Chris Noal

When you look for the best scope for 308 rifle, pay particular attention to the set of lenses. The larger one is the objective lens, while the one closest to you will be the ocular lens. The objective lens sends light to the ocular lens, and controls the amount of light entering the scope. You’ll also find a cross hair or reticle to indicate target detail.

Magnification is a key element when shopping for a rifle scope, since it determines how large the object will appear. Scopes may have fixed magnification or variable magnification, which will take a bit of practice to get the best results. If you begin your viewing at a high magnification, your field of view is narrower and you have less light entering the scope.

The third major element to consider when shopping for the best scope for 308 rifle is the field of view. Wider field is generally better, naturally. When you increase magnification the field of view gets smaller. As you search, keep in mind the ultimate purpose of a rifle scope is to make you feel you’re closer to your target. You should look for the best distance and clarity, along with quality construction for durability.

It’s best to spend a bit more to get best quality, of course. But you may find a suitable scope for your purposes without emptying your bank account in the process.

Best Scope for 308 Rifles

How to Choose the Best Scope for 308 Rifle

If you’re considering the purchase of the best scope for 308 rifle, you should start by asking yourself a few basic questions. It’s important to understand that the .308 rifle is one of the most popular items available, primarily because they are very accurate. (There are other reasons, too.) If you need to, make a few short notes so you can refer to them when you actually begin shopping.

First of all, think about the type of shooting you will be engaged in most of the time. When you think about this, focus on distance as a key factor. The rifle is designed to cover distance, so you’ll want to have a scope that works well with the .308. The scope should provide accurate viewing at 300 yards, 400 yards, even 500 yards. You will come across some scopes that will work with this rifle, but they might be excellent for short-range shooting. If you have a rifle that covers 400 yards, the best scope will be one that delivers great clarity at this distance.

You should also pay attention to how the scope is made. Look for solid construction and good sealing of the tube, along with scratch-resistant lenses. The best scope for 308 rifle will probably be gas-filled (nitrogen, argon) to prevent lens fogging. This also makes the scope more durable overall by protecting the interior. You’ll want shock resistance as well. Make sure you look for information about what material the scope is made of.

Clarity is a prime factor when you’re searching for the best scope for 308 rifle. Don’t accept any product that has even the slightest distortion at long distances. You should be able to see images clearly in both low-light conditions and when the lighting conditions are bright. Balance is important, especially with the higher-quality scopes, which tend to be a bit heavier. Long-distance scopes also tend to have a bit more weight.

You shouldn’t have to struggle to use your scope in real-life conditions, so it should be easy to increase or decrease the magnification. You shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time getting your scope set to use. Consider how easy the scope will be to “sight in.”

Finally, look for a good reticle, which helps you focus on target detail. You should also be able to use your scope without excessive eye strain. Using your scope should be comfortable and you should be able to make adjustments with ease. If you have difficulty tracking your targets through the scope, it’s not the right one for real-life activity.

Top 5 Best Scope for 308 Rifles 2017

To put some of the information and suggestions to work, take a close look at some of the products that qualify for the “best scope for 308 rifles” list.

1. UTG SWAT Compact Scope

UTG SWAT Compact Scope Review

The UTG SWAT is considered a compact scope that you’ll find works just fine with a .308 rifle. The tube is sealed-nitrogen and you benefit from the coated lenses and accurate reticle to determine bullet drop. This scope is resistant to shock, moisture, and fogging, which means it’s durable. For shoppers with a limited budget, this might be the right choice, since it delivers a lot of benefits.

You may have to re-center the reticle occasionally, which could be a problem for some. But, in general, you’ll find the UTG SWAT affordable and a good scope for all-around use.

2. Nikon M-308 Riflescope – Best for Live Hunting

Nikon M-308 SF 4-16x42mm Riflescope Review

With the Nikon M-308, you’ll have a scope in a different category from the product just mentioned. This scope comes from one of the most-recognizable names in optics and cameras, and was developed to be used with long-range, high-caliber rifles such as the .308. You get a 42mm lens and a good field of view even at the highest magnification. This one-inch-tube scope delivers long-life thanks to its rugged construction, and you’ll find it excellent for deer hunting and elk hunting.

Users benefit from this waterproof/fog-proof scope that can be used in adverse weather conditions. It works well at all light levels and is very easy to adjust.  You won’t have to be concerned about eye fatigue with the M-308, which you’ll find is ideal for big game and for long-distance target shooting. Users will find it accurate in the 600 to 800 range, since it provides good compensation for bullet drop. With all of the features and benefits, it’s still moderately priced.

3. Bushnell Elite 6500 Riflescope – Best Construction

Bushnell Elite 6500 Riflescope Review

This quality scope is another solid product from one of the well-known manufacturers in the industry. The Bushnell Elite 6500 is right for the .308, as are all scopes in this review. Durability is unquestioned, as are clear optics well-coated for use outdoors. Focus will remain clear in the presence of moisture and fog, and the scope will handle rifle recoil thanks to its shockproof construction.

Benefits include push-pull turrets, quick sighting, solid adjustments for elevation and windage, and 2.5 to 16 operation with a 42mm lens. Accuracy is very good at long distances thanks to the mil-dot reticle, plus you’ll have success with the good field of view and clarity in the 500-yard to 600-yard range. It’s an excellent choice for the experienced, tactical shooter.

4. Burris Scout Ballistic Plex Scope – Best Overall Scope and Warranty

Burris Scout Ballistic Plex Scope

The 2-7×32 scope from Burris comes with a lifetime warranty, and delivers shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof performance. The multi-coated lenses give you outstanding clarity and resist glare for maximum accuracy. The company is widely considered to have set the standard for rifle scopes with its Scout Ballistic Plex model.

Field of view is outstanding, of course, as is eye relief. One of the key benefits of this scope is its weight, at 13 ounces a bit lighter than some of the others in its class. You’ll benefit from lengthened eye relief and its ability to hold zero, even with the strong recoil of the .308. At 100 yards, for example, you should get groupings on your targets within a couple of inches.

5. Leupold 115390 Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope

Leupold 115390 Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope

If you want outstanding clarity and fog-proof operation at a reasonable price, the Leupold 115390 Mark AR could be the scope for you. The mil-dot reticle provides great accuracy and eye relief, so it’s very comfortable to work with. The argon/krypton-filled tube prevents fogging and moisture issues, which is also helped by multi-coated lenses.

Target-location is excellent after you’ve sighted the scope in. The turrets were created for use with the .308 as well. Maximum magnification is 8.6 and light transmission is clear, allowing for use in low light. It should be an outstanding scope for all users, with a bit of practice.


One of the key factors you should use when searching for the best scope for 308 rifle is budget. You should definitely buy the best scope you can afford, but as you’re looking at cost be sure you focus on the features and benefits you want. As mentioned earlier, you should keep in mind the type of shooting you’ll be taking part in. Will you be shooting at long-range targets, short-range targets? Will you be engaged in still shooting or will you be after deer and elk in various weather conditions?

Keep three key factors in mind when you start shopping: distance, clarity, solid construction. You might also find out as much as you can about ease of adjustment and sighting in. You’ll also want to look at whether your scope is fixed magnification or variable magnification. The final factor, especially if you’re going to be hunting live game in all weather conditions, will be construction and durability. When you invest in a good rifle scope, you want it to last.

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