Developed as a replacement for the 30-06 Springfield round the 308, or in military terms 7.62 NATO is a cartridge that is both lighter in weight than the previous military cartridge but retains almost as much energy down range. For the most part, the formula to use when selecting a rifle scope for the 308 cartridges is simply to stay with the general characteristics associated with almost any modern centerfire round today.
Over the course of some 50 years I have shot many deer with the 308 cartridge and for the most part, I have always had a 308 Winchester of some action type around the shop. I have always believed that the 308 is an all around winner when it comes to a very well balanced round as applied to medium size big game.
In military terms police and ground troops have depended on the cartridge forever. Gun ship electric guns use the round. The old established M-60 burned off millions of them, and it is still used today in squad level weapons when additional range extension is required, or just flat out more firepower than is offered by the 5.56 NATO in combat.
How To Choose The Best Rifle Scopes For The 308 Cartridge
Here are tips to consider when choosing the best scope for your long range hunting:
The Scope Construction
If you intend to make use of your optics for tactical shooting or hunting, then you must ensure that your choice of the optic is a durable one. The scope’s durability should withstand harsh conditions and environmental bruises. If you intend to get the best scope for your 308 rifle, you must ensure that the aluminum quality should be aircraft grade.
The best 308 rifle scope should have the perfect construction befitting a 308 rifle utilized by competition shooters and hunting. You’ll discover that top-quality scopes also come with essential features such as elevation turrets and windage. Using low-profile turrets is not suitable as they get easily removed. High-profile windage would be a more convenient option as it makes reaching out and adjustability very easy.
It is essential to go for an optic with an eye relief of 3 inches and above for better efficiency. This distance creates enough space between the rim of the ocular lens and your eyes.
Though the 308 rifle doesn’t come with the best recoil but rest assured that the kick is excellent, especially when you make use of a heavy grain load, so it would be most suitable to get a scope that would be able to absorb the recoiling effect while still holding at zero.
Why Would I Choose A 308 Rifle?
One thing for sure is that the 308 rifle falls under the category of rifles that come with great versatility. You’ll find various chambered rifles of this kind ranging from single-shot hunting rifles to the 308 in the old days. They utilize a vast scope, and you can rest assured that any choice you make will have a significant effect on your shooting.
You can make a selection of tuned ammo that you can use for any shooting type of your preference. This round is quite dominant and the field; it comes with easy recoil, easy usability, and effective long range shooting. The 308 rifles have been the most utilized option for shooters starting in hunting. One of the reasons is that the 308 rifle is one of the most common and affordable rifles around. Building an AR 10 can be done for under $700. You could get a standard hunting 308 rifle for as low as $300. Undoubtedly, the 308 rifle is one of the most inexpensive power rifle available today.
Though you would also discover that it isn’t perfect because you’ll find that rounds like the 6.5 creedmoor can excel better than the 308; however, they are very expensive and scarce in the market. One rifle will forever be available for all riflemen around the world, and thats the 308 rifle. It’s fascinating to get an all-performing rifle at an affordable price.
What Is The Best Range For a 308 Rifle?
The best range for the 308 rifle might sound complicated at first. It is because the best range for the 308 rifle would depend on the barrel length, projectile, loading, and lots more. All these play a role in influencing the range of the round. However, the general range of a 308 round Is about 800 meters. Though in the US, marine snipers are trained to be able to hit a range of 1000 meters with the 308 round.
When it comes to hunting, hunters can go 300 yards maximum to ensure they hit the target. However, should you decide to take a shoot that is 500 to 800 yards away, it would be essential to make sure you go for the best rifle scope. Some of these scopes come with wind adjustments, while others use reticles that guarantee the same thing. Though magnification power might not be all you need, it plays a vital role in helping you get a clear sight of your target.
Best Scopes For .308 Cartridge Reviews 2023
Here is a comprehensive review of some of the best scope .308 cartridges. This review will help you make an informed decision on the best long range scope to choose.
1. Monstrum G2 6-24×50 First Focal Plane FFP Rifle Scope
Here we have a lower powered scope, but ideal for brush country or timber areal as that meets most shot requirements on deer or other game to 300 yards or less. In fact, to be far more accurate, shooting this scope on a game to about 200 yards is more in line with the glass sights balanced accuracy level of warm targets for the table.
The scope has military styling and is a good fit when mounted on the AR-10 or other shorter action configurations in glass sight systems. Bring the 308 is a short cartridge based at the same length as the 243 Winchester again shorter more compact scopes can be a great fit in this case.
Built of aircraft grade aluminum and as a 30mm tube the scope is a pile of product with heavy turrets that are open for fast sight adjustment, carry an scope eye relief of over four inches, and are illuminated for low light or no light shooting. The shooter has the ability to change brightness settings for greater light control in the field
The scope comes with rings and bases installed, and all you need is a Weaver rail to tie the whole unit together.
Desert sand brown is the color of the scope in keeping with the military style of the whole unit. A detachable honey comb filter is provided with the scope for low glint sniper type activities. The scope is set up in the first focal plain FFP.
2. Leupold VX -Freedom
Just about any scope in the Leupold line is very workable as applied to rifles chambering the 308 Winchester cartridge. The leupold mark is a great choice for a 308 set up as a turn bolt big game rifle. The size is major, but they get it done workload is also a part of the package.
This glass is power from 4.5 X through 14 X, and carries a full 450 mm objective lens. Light retaining, very flexible in terms of sub tensions, and comes stock out of the box in a Duplex CDS crosshair.
Using the 40 mm objective the shooter can pick up targets quickly as in running shots, and also draw in light on far distant shots as well.
This scope will do anything required of it when choosing to mount it on a 308 Winchester chambered rifle.
3. Sig Sauer SOW33202 Whiskey3 Riflescope, 3-9X40mm, 1 in, Sfp
In this example we have the Sig Sauer SOW33202 Whiskey3. This scope is a 3-9X40 and an exact duplicate to the very old a solid Leupold I have mounted on a rifle of mine today and was put together in 1966. This new scope is the gold standard in deer rifle scopes and the 308 makes for a wonderful deer rifle as the bullet drop weights take on warm targets with ease. Produce clean kills setting the critters free of unnecessary discomfort, and tend to chamber and function like a dream in all manor of rifle actions.
The Sig product is built in the second focal plane SFP and makes use of capped turrets and a one inch primary tube size. I have observed some writers say the scope is a “good medium range” option. Well folks that writer doesn’t’t hunt whitetail much if at all. This optic as setting up in the 3-9 power will tag a trophy buck to 400 yards with ease, and a good long range shot can push her much further. In truth about 75% of the public should not be shooting at game further than 100 yards if even that far.
Buying into this scope will keep you in the game for a very long time at a fair price tag to boot.
4. Bushnell Dust & Dawn.
This Multi-X reticle riflescope is set up with a 3.3 inch eye relief, 3-9X40mm objective, and power settings, and for the money is one of the best buys on the market today. Using these scopes is a basic approach to glass sights. Nothing fancy but the scope will address the needs of the hunter that is shooting for meat and wants to keep expenses inside a tighter budget. The scope has good glass and outstanding light transmission abilities. In fact, much better light control than the price would suggest.
Built on a one piece aluminum tube that is heavy duty, the Dusk & Dawn pre light and low light features that give the shooter extra time on target each full day, and the ¼ MOA elevation and windage control with field ready capped turrets.
The one inch tube will support many varied types of scope mount and rings. The scope’s total length is 12 inches long and will make for a good fit on standard action rifles and long action AR’s.
5. Vortex Crossfire II
In this scope we have again a 3-9X40 that is within the basic standard of big rifle glass sights. The Vortex optics has capped turrets, ¼ MOA graduations, and a Dead Hold BDC reticle. With a long eye relief, the hunter can pull in a moving target with some element of speed.
The Vortex optics crossfire ii uses the Vortex Anti-reflective glass that keeps target images clean and sharp. The turret settings in terms of elevation will draw off 60 MOA which is enough for any responsible shot on a game animal, versus spray and pray styles of shooting.
Built with aircraft grade aluminum, O ring sealed against the elements, this basic field scope is a value in terms of price per the amount of product the shooter is getting. Like all 3-9X40’s the scope is well balanced for use on rifles chambered in 308 Winchester.
6. TruGlo TRU_BRITE 30
Here we have a timber country scope that carries illuminated reticle systems, a fast throw lever for advancing power settings, open turrets for quick elevation adjustments if the shot on game goes long all a once, and a compact design that won’t get in the way if you’re a waling and stalking style of a hunter.
I shoot this scope currently on a turkey shotgun that is also set up for buckshot coyote hunting. This scope is a great fit for carbine length rifles like the Remington Model Seven short action design and others chambered in 308 Win cartridges.
Built of aircraft grade aluminum, uses a rheostat control on the left side of the turret for easy access, and an etched glass reticle.
The scope retains a mil-dot reticle which allows for longer range sight adjustments on the fly. The lighted reticle allows for very low light shooting conditions to be completed successfully, and with the 42mm objective lens the scope provides ample light transmission abilities.
The BDC turret on this scope is set up for use with the 168 grain 30 caliber bullet drop as delivered by the 308 Winchester cartridge, or 55 grain bullets in the .223 Remington. In other words, the scope is 308 ready out of the box.
This scope also makes sure of attached rings and Weaver style bases. That means quick attachment and effort free mounting are supplied with the scope.
Warranty on this sight is lifetime as offered by the manufacture.
7. Burris Signature HD Hunting
This scope is a move up in grade based on what the shooter is getting for the money spent. The scope is illuminated giving way to more gunning time per day on the two ends of the best shooting hours. The glass in this scope is high end as Burris is known for offering some good materials in their optical systems. This scope makes use of the Ballistics E3 reticle that gives shooters the necessary tools for a correct and fast adjustment in terms of target holdover.
The scope is offered in three variations including the 2-10X40mm MOA, 3-15X44mm MOA, and 5-25X50mm MOA, In most cases the lower power is all the is necessary when considering this scope as applied to the 308 Winchester.
I shoot Burris optics on a heavy 45-70 Government buffalo rifle and as such have for many years. Based on that experience lie others I recommend here the glass is good, the internals are well built, and will outlast the shooter in many cases.
The hash marks on the sub tensions are calibrated for shooting up to 400 yards. This is max range for the hunter that is thinking about what he or she is doing in the field.
This great scope retains the zero stop feature for accurate zero returns, and is all put together on a one inch main tube.
8. Crimson Trace Brushline Pro 3-12X42mm
Here is the company that brought us the laser handgun sights that have been so very successful over the years. Crimson trace has entered the rifle scope world with this hunting model capped turret scope that is not illuminated in any way. But mounts sub tensions that retain the BDC reticle. That means ranging is possible when target holed over is rewired.
Built in the second focal plane this scope is a work horse model and built as a hunters scope first and foremost. The scope is built on a full 30mm main aluminum tube that is aircraft grade rated, makes use of ¼ MOA click values on the turret settings, and is gas filled O ring sealed and field ready for a nasty winter of hunting the high country.
Power settings and overall design make this a good choice when applied to the 308 Winchester cartridge.
9. Tract Toric 3-15X50 w.BDC reticle
This TRACT scope is a long range scope to some extent , but is using capped turrets that require the sub tension viewing for fast elevation adjustments when the game comes into view right out of nowhere.
I shoot this scope as applied to medium range varmint rifles when leaving my zero setting the dame and working on hold over through the lens systems sub tensions. Many rock chucks have been harvested with this scope and it has been tacked onto several 308 Winchester chambered rifles when running wind drift tests for varied verticals covering ammunition reviews.
This scope is a good well balanced match for the 308 Winchester. Built well, but kept light in weight this glass sight is a working favorite of mine out there in the real world of hunting, or even some steel target shooting from time to time.
Author original photos: 308 cartridges on AR-10 and bolt action rifle taken out of these South Dakota Missourie river breaks deer.
L.P Brezny has been writing and reviewing product as well as how to projects for the past 50 years. He has authored four books on shooting with three on long range, and one covering shotgunning. With 26 years on a metro police department as a street officer and the rank of SGT / training L.P. has covered all the bases regarding weapons and street survival.
During the early years in non-toxic shotshell ammunition development L.P. designed the first successful measurement system for recording the speed of shot shell payloads down range. He was responsible for getting actual shotshell velocities printed on factory load boxes. Over the years he has developed and markets MetroGun System TM, and sells his designed ammunition for subsonic sound suppressed shotgun shooting.
Current L.P. resides in the South Dakota Black Hills and spends a good deal of time working through many types of ammunition both in the field on warm targets. With ultra long range being a current specialty L.P. shots for test and accuracy at ranges as great as one or more miles on the wide open Dakota grasslands.