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{TOP 9} Best .30-06 scope Reviews 2022

The .30-06 is one of the most widespread mid-power rifle cartridges in the world. It is most popular among hunters of mid to large-sized game. But, it started its life as the cartridge of choice of the US military.

The “06” in its name comes from the year 1906. That is when it replaced the .30-40 Krag and the .30-03 cartridges. These had been in use by the American armed services until then. It was introduced at a time when other militaries around the world were adopting cartridges suited to faster, flatter bullets. They were also making a move to a spritzer. Those are pointed bullets instead of the round-nosed variety.

The “06” in its name comes from the year 1906. That is when it replaced the .30-40 Krag and the .30-03 cartridges. These had been in use by the American armed services until then. It was introduced at a time when other militaries around the world were adopting cartridges suited to faster, flatter bullets. They were also making a move to a spritzer. Those are pointed bullets instead of the round-nosed variety.

The .30-06 was brought in to meet these requirements and introduce a rimless cartridge, The M1903 Springfield rifle was the first service rifle chambered for the .30-06. It would see action in World War I. The cartridge would remain in service in machine guns and the M1903’s successors.

When NATO adopted the 7.62x51mm cartridge, the 30-06 was side-lined by the military. It has never lost popularity as a hunting cartridge. It is popular in the states for deer. It isalso a great cartridge for large deer, elk, and boar in Europe. You can even use it for smaller plains game in Africa.

The M1903 served in the sniper rifle role through the Second World War, Korea, and Vietnam. It is now considered obsolete as a military round. For that reason, we will only be considering scopes suitable for hunting here.

Yes, the cartridge will perform at range and could be pressed to use out to 1000 meters. There are better cartridges for that now, though. You won’t find many people doing serious target shooting with a .30-06 . The only ones that do enjoy using collectible firearms. That doesn’t mean it isn’t capable. There are more popular cartridges today.

Its popularity for use in hunting has never waned. The cartridge is very capable on larger deer, elk, and even moose. It is commonly loaded with bullets between about 150 and 220 grains. It can produce muzzle velocities up to almost 3000 feet per second. A 180-grain core-lokt soft point round, for example, would be an excellent choice on an elk. That will produce 2913 ft/lbs of energy.

Given the power of this cartridge, you will need a robust scope. Make sure that you rule out rim-fire scopes straight away. They just won’t survive the recoil of the .30-06. Also, consider the ranges you will be shooting. Also, remember that the .30-06 really isn’t a varmint caliber. With calibers like the .204 Ruger and others so popular now, the varmint market is saturated. The .30-06’s niche is really more traditional hunting.

Below you will find all the information you need to pick out Top 9 best .30-06 scopes for traditional hunting.

Choosing a .30-06 scope for traditional hunting

Hunting on foot has been the mainstay of subsistence and recreational hunting since the dawn of time. You hunt this way by using calls to lure your quarry. You also need to move stealthily and be vigilant to spot your targets. We have relied on our ability to hunt in many circumstances. One of the most satisfying styles of hunting is getting out there on your own, though. It doesn’t matter if you are hunting with a bow, modern rifle, or muzzleloader. The .30-06 is a cartridge you can rely on when hunting alone. It is also powerful enough that it will give you confidence in a chance encounter with a dangerous predator.

For solo hunting you can often dispense with the more powerful scopes. More than about fifteen power won’t give you any considerable advantage. Complicated range finding reticles and lots of subtensions will not help either. They might be great for precise target shooting or varmint shooting at long range. You don’t need them for shooting mid to large-sized deer at ethical ranges. In fact, a smaller, rugged scope will be far more useful in rugged terrain you will be traversing while you hunt.

Illuminated reticles might be useful on a scope. Larger objective lens will also be a benefit to gather light at dusk and dawn. Otherwise, the fewer features the better.

Top 10 Best .30-06 Scopes for hunting Reviews

1. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Rifle Scope

Leupold is one of the best choices for world-class optics . Their lineup includes products suitable for all types of hunting and tactical applications. This particular member of the VX line features 3.5-10 power variable magnification. That is adequate for hunting out to a few hundred yards.

A lot of people overestimate their ability to shoot at 300 meters. At that distance, though, it’s easy to forget how much energy a bullet loses. The weighty projectiles of the .30-06 don’t suffer from this as much. It can certainly still be lethal up to 1000 meters under the right conditions. Yet, it’s not fair or ethical to take a large deer much beyond that 300 meters.

The lower end of the magnification on this scope is ideal for close range shots. I would leave it set around six for most situations. The duplex reticle is great for normal hunting situations. It allows for some range estimation and offers at least one useful additional aim point.

It isn’t too badly affected by the second focal plane. Second focal plane scopes with complicated reticles are almost worthless. The scale of the reticle changes as you zoom in and out. This means they only accurately represent their intended intervals at one magnification setting. A duplex, though, is so simple that zooming shouldn’t throw you off too badly. The lower duplex is also a great point of aim. While mine is set on six power, the distance between the crosshair and duplex is twelve inches. That gives me an almost perfect holdover point for a 300-yard shot.

The simplicity of this scope is what makes it perfect for this task. The supreme Leupold quality helps too.

2. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Multi-X

Another 3-9x50mm scope, this offering from Bushnell is a great choice to top your .30-06 rifle. The 3-9×50, or x40, has been a popular specification for hunting scopes forever. The 50mm objective lens offers a slight advantage over the 40mm .It gathers more light. The bigger front end, however, means the scope is higher above the bore. That makes it slightly less stable, harder to get a cheek weld, and heavier. I would normally consider that sacrifice worthwhile.

This Bushnell also offers side focus adjustment. That is a great feature often reserved for more expensive scopes. It is a perfect companion to budget rifles such as the Remington 783 or Savage axis.

3. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 2.5-15×50 Scope

Bushnell has already featured on this list, and for good reason. They are one of the world’s largest sporting optics manufacturers. Their scopes can be found on the shelves of budget stockists to the showcases of the finest hunting outfitters. Many of their models are purpose-driven. This scope is one of those, Its purpose is long-distance shooting .

It has fifteen power magnification and a bullet drop calculating reticle. This scope allows you to stretch the range of your shots if you need to. It also allows you to place very precise shots on smaller game and vermin.

It is a great scope for using in the field. Bushnell also makes it to a high standard. It has coated lenses and fog proof construction. There is also the added benefit of great customer service. The lifetime warranty will give you confidence in your scope.

4. Vortex Diamondback 4-16×42

I’ve already said that a 50mm objective lens gives a light-gathering advantage over 40mm front ends. It does so at the expense of weight, maneuverability, and a comfortable cheek weld. The perfect middle ground are scopes available with 42mm or 44mm objectives. That is offered by this Vortex Optics Diamondback. It has a 42mm objective and variable 4-16 power.

The 30-06 cartridge is 113 years old and as effective today as ever. Vortex Optics, on the other hand, are young in the firearms industry. Since their establishment in 2004, they have become one of the most respected optics makers around. This scope from their diamondback range would be an excellent choice for your .30-06 hunting rifle.

5. Trijicon RS22 AccuPower 

Trijicon might be best known for their tactical optics. They also have a varied range of scopes, including this Accupower. This range benefits from the same rugged construction as products aimed at military and law enforcement. It has a simplicity that makes them perfect for a traditional hunting rifle.

The massive 56mm objective on this scope will gather every available scrap of light. It also features a very low power option on its variable zoom. That can be useful if you are stalking through the close brush, scrub, and woodland.

One of the best things about Trijicon scopes is their supreme quality and ruggedness. Their construction pairs well with the rigors of travel and hunting in the backcountry while hunting.

It also features a range of options for your reticle. You can pick one with subtensions in MOA or mil-dot intervals or illuminated options.

6. Steiner GS3 Game Sensing Rifle Scope

Steiner scopes and optics have a fantastic reputation. Their GS3 scopes have options for any hunting scenario. The 4-20 power options would be great for targets and precise varmint shooting. My pick for pairing with a .30-06 would be the 2-10×42 or 3-15x50mm.

You receive all the quality you would expect from a maker with Steiner’s reputation. Plus, these scopes feature special CAT (color adjusted transmission) coatings on their lenses. That helps game stand out by amplifying contrast. Hence the “game sensing” element of their name. The S1 plex reticle features a few additional aim points. They make it one of the most complicated reticles in this lineup. It is still intuitive and not needlessly complicated like some others. The scope will give you a bit of extra help when adjusting for range and wind.

The great quality and rugged construction of Steiner Optics is backed up by their lifetime “Heritage Warranty.” There is no reason you won’t be able to pass this scope on to your kids.

7. Burris Fullfield II

This is another scope in the 3-9×40 range. It also offers the option for a ballistic plex reticle. That reticle is not too dissimilar from the one offered on the Steiner scope reviewed above. You won’t get the same quality or performance. It also won’t sting your wallet as much. That could be a great option if you are hunting on a shoestring budget. A .30-06 is a great choice for those on a budget. The ammunition is so readily available and cheap. It is certainly much more affordable than something like the .300 Win Mag or the 6.5 Creedmoor. This scope is a perfect companion to the .30-06.

8. Zeiss Conquest

Zeiss, Swarovski and Schmidt, and Bender produce some of the best scopes in the world. This model is just perfect for hunting. it would be the perfect companion to a .30-06 rifle. It offers both low power magnification for close shots and stalking through brush. There is also fast target acquisition and higher power for those longer shots on open terrain. It features an illuminated reticle and a huge choice of other reticles. You can pick the best one for your style of shooting.

9. Schmidt and Bender Klassik

Another Schmidt and Bender entry is the Klassik. It is one of the best scopes come out of Germany. In fact, we owe a lot of our modern scope conventions to companies like Leica and Zeiss. They have been around for well over a century. Yet, they still produce excellent optics.

The Klassic range from Schmidt and Bender are specifically aimed at hunters. They lack some of the extreme features of the military and tactical oriented models. This scope offers a great variable zoom range. There is also a 56mm objective and the L7 reticle. That is a great all-around hunting reticle. It has particular advantages when shooting running game such as boar.

Figure 1; L7 reticle

A Buyer’s Guide for the 30-06 Rifle Scopes 

Below are some of the things to look out for when buying the best rifle scope:

1. Clarity of Glass

The best 30-06 scope, like the Leupold VX 2, must have clear glass. Whether you’re planning to take a long range shooting or not, your effectiveness is dependent on your optics. Big manufacturers always use the same component to design a different model, so you can count on them. Almost all the time, they offer guarantees on the products they produce. PVC glass is not very good compared to iron sights, and you should never use it. It won’t give you a better view, and it will make you less accurate.

2. Retic

An illuminated reticle calibration will position the target in the middle of the hunting scope. Then, you can concentrate on it. Some people like the first focal plane, and others like the second focal plane, but what is best is that the reticle allows the user to adjust their optic at ease and in time.

3. Portability 

Portability ensures the safety of the user as well as accuracy. Having a heavy rifle scope makes the hunter inconvenient. There will be an excess weight on the shooter’s shoulder, and they won’t be able to aim. Getting an optic that isn’t too heavy or too light is always suitable for the shooter. 

4. Size of the sight (Scope)

The image quality will be better with a larger lens because it will have a higher resolution. You can see the target more clearly and sharply with fully multi-coated lenses. But if the lens is more extensive, the scope will get bigger and heavier, which is not good. It has some pros and cons because of the features, but some of the metrics are perfect for a specific size of the rifle.

5. Field of View (FOV)

For hunting, the best scopes must have a wider field of view. With a small FOV, the user can only take close-range shooting and not long-range. It is always advisable to buy a scope with broad adjustable magnification power.  A scope with at least 4X to 8X will provide a clear image of a target at 250 yards away. This will significantly affect your precision or aim.

6. Type of Mount

Mounts give your rifle a reliable position to stand. Without a better mount, staying off-target and shooting accurately will be hard. The ring is an essential part because it retains the scopes from falling off. Getting the best mounts and fasteners for your rifle gives it a very secure surface.

7. Eye Relief

To prevent eyesight defeat, a shooter should have proper eye relief in a scope. Best rifle scopes like Nikon prostaff, Burris fullfield ii, vortex optics diamondback, and Leupold scope all have unique eye relief. 

They should leave enough space between your eyes and the scope so that when the rifle recoils, it does not come into contact with the shooter’s eyes. A user needs to examine their eye relief.

FAQs

1. How Should You Choose a 30-06 Rifle Scope?

Rifle scopes with adjustable magnification range are made for ideal long-range shooting with 30-06 rifles. With this kind of ammunition, a user doesn’t need to squander a bullet. Additionally, the best .30-06 scope should have a clear reticle and brightness levels, such as a Vortex Viper Scope, Vortex Optics Crossfire ii Sights, and Vortex Diamondback Sights.

2. Is a 30-06 Scope Best Off Using the First Focal Plane?

The first focal plane is preferable for a 30-06 scope, especially if you need to take retention shots after long-range rounds. Since the tiny calibrated markings on the reticle can’t be seen in low light, it is best to use them for close-range shooting.

3. Is it Ideal to Compete in Shooting Events With a 30-06 Rifle Scope?

Yes, 30-06 best rifle scopes can be used for deer hunting and big games. Adjustable magnification range, clarity, and calibration of the reticle are just a few features you should look for in a good scope before buying

Conclusion

Any of these scopes will serve well on your .30-06 for hunting. If money were no object, try the Schmidt and Bender or Leupold. I have used the fixed eight power model from this range for several years. Currently, I have a Leupold on my .243 Winchester. That rifle has taken more deer than I can count. Both scopes are fantastic. I have no complaints about either of them.

For the budget-conscious, the Burris or Bushnell products might be a better choice. For specific big game hunting styles, the Trijicon RS24 would be hard to beat. Any of these scopes will serve well on top of your .30-06, though. Take your pick, get it zeroed, and get out hunting.

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